Master of Environmental Studies Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) declared that building construction, operation and maintenance accounts for 36% of the world‟s energy use and results in 39% energy-related carbon emissions annually. Buildings therefore provide such an enormous opportunity to conserve resources, reduce pollution, and make our communities more sustainable. Recognizing this opportunity, this paper is a deep dive into the policy trends and current building energy codes nationally towards net-zero and climate change goals. Climate action plans and goals are juxtaposed with their current status and rate of progress, to conduct a gap analysis. This analysis helps explore how close (or far) the regions‟ current codes are from reaching their net zero and climate action goals. The report concludes with possible future steps to take for each region, state or jurisdiction for a net-zero reality and to reach their proposed climate change goals. The recommendations made thus enable each region, as well as the United States to spearhead the pathway to a carbon neutral future.



Date Posted: 10 April 2023