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Sustainable Development, Green Construction, Energy Efficiency

The problem of climate change, as well as the necessity to preserve the environment and reduce resource consumption and operating costs, is faced by individuals, organizations, and states alike. Every country has its own development path — some countries started introducing measures to reduce environmental impact, promote sustainable consumption, and pursue the Sustainable Development Goals decades ago, and have been doing it incrementally. However, there are also countries which are actively developing and making sustainable development policies at national and municipal levels with aggressive targets in the sphere of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, waste management, and digitalization of urban infrastructure.

This publication examines international experience with and government tools for promoting sustainable development, green construction, and energy efficiency in six countries: Russia, the USA, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Japan, and China.

Also, the report reviews legal norms and regulations, practices adopted by public agencies, and voluntary programs to improve sustainability and energy efficiency. The publication gives the following examples of such tools: tax incentives for facilities which fulfil certain requirements related to sustainable development and energy efficiency; state subsidies for projects related to comfortable urban environment and construction of low-energy buildings or zero-energy houses; national plans to increase energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint; voluntary certification for compliance with standards of green construction; emissions of green bonds; mechanisms to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions.

The publication also cites examples of measures introduced as part of pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals in the countries under review. The aim of the study is to demonstrate how government incentives and market-based instruments can be used as a lever to promote the Sustainable Development Goals.
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