A recent article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix highlights a study claiming the best climate change solution is to invest in green building. The article sites the Rivergreen Ecovillage in Saskatoon as an example of such green building design put into practice.
The most cost-effective climate change solution
The article sites a study by Architecture2030 that focuses on how green building can both reduce carbon emissions, create more jobs, and save consumers money. The study says:
Investment in building energy efficiency is surprisingly effective. A single investment of $21.6 billion would replace 22.3 conventional 500 MW coal-fired power plants, reduce annual CO2 emissions by 86.7 million metric tons, save 204 billion cu. ft. of natural gas and 10.7 million barrels of oil each year8, save consumers $8.46 billion in energy bills annually9 (less than a 3-year simple payback) and create 216,000 permanent new jobs.
The article notes:
Improving the energy performance of existing and new buildings can begin to reduce emissions almost immediately. The required technologies are already available off the shelf. In contrast, clean coal is still experimental. Even its proponents don’t know how well it will work or what the final costs will be. In any case, actual reductions of GHGs from investing in clean coal or nuclear power will not commence for 10 years or so, as the technology is developed and the plants can be built.
Ecovilages are pioneers in green building
Rivergreen Ecovillage is just one example of ecovillages pioneering green building. The Communities Directory lists hundreds of ecovillages worldwide, almost all of which incorporate some forms of green building and focus on solutions to climate change.