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U.S. and Australia: PACE Financing and Environmental Upgrade Agreement

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama released a National Climate Action Plan signalling the US had entered a deliberate new phase in global emissions reduction by taking a commercially and socially driven approach, enabling “climate action” on a domestic and international level.

In his landmark speech, Obama pledged to withdraw public funding from overseas coal-fired power plants and called for individuals and businesses to “join the movement” and “remind folks there’s no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.”

Australia and the US have progressed in tandem on many environmental issues.

The residential and commercial built environment is a prominent pain point, responsible for 23 per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions and 40 per cent of America’s total energy costs. Both nations have benefited from one another in the development of environmental upgrade finance mechanisms and mandatory disclosure requirements for building energy consumption.

The development of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) finance in the US has taken some early learning’s from Australia’s Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA), which provides attractive finance for commercial building owners. EUAs are administered through councils or in Sustainable Melbourne Fund’s case, as a third party organisation on behalf of the City of Melbourne. Read more.