25 November 2009

What's coming out of Copenhagen for the home improvement industry

Dec. 7 sees the start of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, the biggest gathering of world leaders addressing eco-issues since the meeting at Kyoto, Japan, 12 years ago.

Despite a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade bill that passed the House this summer, Senate heel-draggers have denied the president the signed legislation he had hoped to bring to Copenhagen. Resolved not to repeat Bill Clinton's mistakes in Kyoto (Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol but could not get it ratified by Congress), Obama has signalled that he does not expect a formal treaty to emerge out of Copenhagen -- he won't seek a treaty until he has a signed law in hand.

So what does that have to do with home improvement? Well, Obama won't want to leave Copenhagen empty-handed, so he'll focus on other areas of agreement. For example, check out this Nov. 17 Energy Department press release boasting of areas of agreement with China:
The two Presidents announced the launch of a new U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Action Plan.  Under the new plan, the two countries will work together to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, industrial facilities, and consumer appliances.
There's more here

So the government may soon be pushing tighter building standards and electricity-stingy appliances. The point is that as we see more emphasis on energy efficiency initiatives coming out of Copenhagen, like this one with China, there will be more opportunities for green retailers and builders.

Update: President Obama today confirmed that he will attend the Copenhagen meeting. I don't think he'd be going if he didn't think there was a reason to do so.

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