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Elizabeth Warren Proposes Ban On Non-Carbon-Neutral Construction

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Ban On Non-Carbon-Neutral Construction
Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaking at a Democratic Party event in Iowa on April 20, 2019.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has proposed a full ban on any construction, residential or commercial, that is not carbon neutral by 2028 as part of her presidential campaign platform.

Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, made the proposal during an interview with MSNBC, saying that as president, she would do "everything that a president can do herself" without having to rely on Congress.

Australia's ongoing, catastrophic bush fires have brought the world's climate crisis into sharp focus, pushing banks and politicians toward more progressive stances. If the 2020 election does produce Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, their plans would transform the government's environmental policy.

Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are piecing together the framework of a resolution placing stricter requirements on development, as well as energy production and usage and auto manufacturing, Axios reports.

The committee has no plans to introduce any formal legislation while the Republicans control the Senate, Axios reports. But as Warren told MSNBC the situation calls for dramatic changes.

"What scares me is every time you go back to the scientists, they tell you two things: it's worse than we thought and we have less time," Warren said on the program.

The message has been getting through to the real estate industry more clearly in the past year, JLL's U.K. CEO Chris Ireland said at a conference his firm recently hosted on real estate in 2020, EG reports.

“One of the biggest changes [during 2019] has been the recognition from the industry of the importance of sustainability and the climate emergency,” Ireland said.

Elizabeth Warren Proposes Ban On Non-Carbon-Neutral Construction
Fires across Australia have turned skies blood red.

Some of that recognition may be as a result of external pressure. Lloyds Banking Group head of real estate and housing Madeleine McDougall said at the JLL conference that environmental sustainability has moved to the top of the priority list, for both potential commercial tenants and banks lending to commercial real estate, EG reports.

“If you haven’t thought [environmental sustainability] through, tenants will not want to occupy those buildings and banks won’t finance those buildings, because what we want to know is that the building will not be obsolete and that there will be a life cycle to them," MacDougall said, according to EG.

The House Democrats' plan would require all utilities to be 100% carbon-free within a matter of years, with some incremental benchmarks to take effect immediately, Axios reports. It would also add regulations for low-carbon infrastructure and building construction, as well as more robust financial support to meet such standards.