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WASHINGTON (June 26, 2013) — Below is a statement from Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips regarding President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which the president outlined during a June 25 speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. ULI (www.uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.
We are encouraged by proposals in the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan that will help U.S. communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. The plan, announced this week by President Obama, includes measures to reduce future carbon emissions, and to mitigate the impact of changes that have already occurred. Both of these courses of action are key focus areas for the Urban Land Institute, as we continue our support for the creation of resilient communities that are economically strong and environmentally sound.
The impacts of climate change are playing, and will continue to play, a greater role in shaping urban development in the years ahead, in terms of what is built, where and how it is built, and how it is insured and financed. In this regard, the real estate industry has a key role to play in working with all levels of government to implement strategies that better protect both the built and natural environment. ULI is at the forefront of this issue with our Greenprint Center for Building Performance, whose members are addressing climate change with development practices that lower the carbon emissions and energy consumption of buildings. Our organization is a global leader in the area of energy- efficient design and development practices, and we are working to form partnerships with both the private and public sector to help advance innovative energy conservation efforts.
ULI is also actively involved in examining coastal development, with the devastation of Hurricane Sandy serving as the foundation for lessons that could be applied to many vulnerable communities. We stand ready to provide local expertise through our district council networks to support local and regional efforts focused on climate-resistant investment, planning and development.
In the real estate world, climate change has become a global issue with dramatic local ramifications. It’s one of several forces – equaling economic, demographic and societal changes in significance – that are compelling us to explore different approaches to development in the 21st century. Redevelopment should be viewed as an opportunity to reduce risk in the future, enhance livability, restore natural resources, and increase community resilience. We look forward to contributing solutions that result in communities that are both safe and livable for generations to come.