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Stamford joins national 2030 District network to reduce emissions

Kaomi Goetz

Stamford, Conn., is the first city in New England to sign on to a national effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas by the year 2030. It's a public-private partnership of business, environmental and government leaders called the Stamford 2030 District.

2030 Districts aim to reduce emissions and consumption of water and energy by changing the way buildings are  built and operated. The group says buildings are responsible for half of all energy consumed. 

Businesses, cities and community groups join the network for free and agree to the targets. In exchange, they'll receive a confidential audit, advice and training. 

Officials said Stamford's importance as a regional economic hub and its aging building stock factored into establishing a 2030 District there. 

Don Strait is chief executive officer of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. He said Stamford will also be better prepared for future storms and climate change as a result of the network.

"By working together with the business community and the city, quite importantly, we can create momentum for a city that's more resilient," he said.

The benchmark goals come from the non-profit group 2030 Architecture. It's trying to create carbon-neutral environments for all new construction by the year 2030. Existing buildings are to cut emissions by 50 percent. 

Christopher Bruhl is the president of the Business Council of Fairfield County. He said it makes sense for the private sector to take the lead.

"This will save money. So by reducing energy consumption, reducing water consumption, we are reducing the cost of operating buildings and doing business," Bruhl said.

Stamford is the sixth city nationwide to sign on to the network. Other cities include Seattle, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.

Connecticut Light and Power, Starwood Hotels and commercial real estate company CBRE are among the early adopters of the Stamford 2030 District.

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