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Letter to the Editor: An architect’s case for Paris agreement

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As an architect, one of my key goals is designing resilient sustainable buildings for current and future generations who will live and work in the built environment that I’ve helped shape. A sustainable and resilient built environment plays a critical role in combating the economic and social effects of climate change.

President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement is a significant step backwards. Counting the United States, 195 countries adopted this first-ever universal climate deal in 2015 that sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change.

Architects have a unique role to play in achieving the agreement’s goals. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings are responsible for 73 percent of all electricity consumption in the United States, with about half of that coming from commercial buildings. American architects are focused on designing buildings that are energy efficient and in some cases, nearly carbon neutral. We have worked hand-in-hand with the federal government to help make our profession and country competitive global leaders in the quest for an energy-efficient built environment.

Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is a major step back for America’s role as a global leader.

—Jason Hainline, Dake-Wells Architecture

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