Dr. Diana Urge-Vorsatz to Keynote Building Carbon Zero Conference

Posted by Bronwyn Barry on November 02, 2015
Dr. Diana Urge-Vorsatz to Keynote Building Carbon Zero Conference
Nobel Prize-winning IPPC report contributing author Dr. Diana Urge-Vorsatz.

Passive House California recently announced that Dr. Diana Ürge-Vorstatz, Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group III) and Chair of the Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy will keynote their upcoming Building Carbon Zero California conference in Palo Alto on Friday, November 13th.  Dr. Ürge-Vorsatz recently delivered the keynote address at the North American Passive House Network conference in Vancouver, B.C., where she stated:

“The building sector offers the largest low-cost potential in all world regions to lower emissions. If we target very high efficiency systems, we can have our cake and be paid to eat it too!”

She cited data she collected for the 5th Assessment report issued by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, showing economic feasibility studies confirming deep energy reductions in buildings will have far greater economic benefits than shallower reduction targets. She cautioned policy makers on inadvertently supporting the "lock-in effect" with shallow retrofits that make cosmetic upgrades to buildings but don’t substantially reduce carbon emissions. These retrofits lock-in the energy consumption for many years before additional funding can be justified for further renovation.

Additional presenters will cover topics ranging from natural materials use, to new technologies such as heat pumps, to reports from local occupants of high performance buildings. The afternoon sessions will dig deeper into economics, mechanics, and measured data collected on a number of local project examples. 

A PedalHaus Bicycle Tour of five completed buildings in Palo Alto will follow building Carbon Zero California on Saturday, November 14th. Palo Alto’s former Mayor, Peter Drekmeier, will join the cyclists on this leisurely cruise.

For tickets and info, visit

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