St. Paul aims for zero carbon in all buildings by 2050

The city is working for better efficiency and sourcing green power to reach its goal.

July 26, 2018 |
St. Paul aims for zero carbon in all buildings by 2050

St. Paul, Minn. Photo: Max Pixel

Officials in St. Paul, Minn., announced that the city has set a zero carbon goal for 2050.

City-owned buildings are to hit that target by 2030, with all buildings following suit by mid-century.

A two-year study of carbon emissions within the city found that 52% were related to physical structures.

The city expects that its primary utility, Xcel Energy, will help it achieve 40% of the progress needed by relying less on fossil fuels. To get the rest of the way to its goal, the city has a five-year strategy with five primary goals:
• Inspiring a culture of energy stewardship throughout the city
• Lowering energy burdens on low-income households so that no household has to spend more than 4% of its income on energy costs
• Working with major institutions such as colleges and hospitals to set energy goals that align with those of the city
• Promoting efficiency in large buildings, both commercial and multi-family residences
• Leading by example as city government

To spur private building owners to green up their facilities, the city is sponsoring the “Race to Reduce,” a competition that encourages building managers to monitor and compare their buildings’ energy use to comparable structures across the country.


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