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WFAE reporter David Boraks explores how the way we live influences climate change and its impact across the Carolinas. You also can read additional national and international climate news.

U.S. Building Contractors Urge Industry Action On Climate Change

 Construction continued in July on the Carolina Theatre in uptown Charlotte.
David Boraks
Construction continued in July on the Carolina Theatre in uptown Charlotte.

A group that represents U.S. building contractors, including more than 1,000 in the Carolinas, is calling on members to adopt climate-friendly practices and to work with government and business to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The 27,000-member Associated General Contractors of America says construction generates only 1 to 2% of man-made greenhouse gases in the U.S. But contractors can help the nation meet its climate reduction goals, said CEO Stephen Sandherr.

"The construction industry is key to any measures needed to make our economy more efficient, less carbon intensive and more resilient," Sandherr told reporters Tuesday.

"The industry has a clear obligation to find ways to operate more efficiently moving forward, and to use its expertise to assist public and private owners to meet their climate objectives. More important, however, is the fact that the construction industry is the delivery vehicle for building a greener, more climate friendly future."

An 18-member task force has been meeting since early spring to hammer out an industry response to the threat of climate change. Their 16-page report has recommendations, but no specific goals for the industry.

It urges contractors to adopt changes in their own practices. They include such things as using energy efficient worksite trailers, cutting fossil fuel use by replacing diesel vehicles and reducing idling at job sites and adopting stricter water conservation and recycling practices.

Sandherr said contractors also need to work with architects to persuade building developers to build greener buildings.

See the announcement and link to the report at AGC.org.

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David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.