Embassies Convene to Promote Green Diplomacy
After participating in the Green Diplomacy Day at the French Embassies, the DCSEU was mentioned in a post on the State Department's Blog.
On Wednesday, November 1, the diplomatic community and the private sector came together for ‘Green Diplomacy Day’ at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C. The event was co-hosted by the D.C. chapter of the Eco-Capitals Forum and brought together stakeholders to discuss practical energy and sustainability solutions for the operations of foreign embassies in D.C.
Seven years ago, the Forum was launched by the District of Columbia, the U.S. Department of State, and the diplomatic corps to recognize the role that embassies – as highly visible city landmarks and hubs for connecting people, ideas, and innovations – can play in showcasing solutions for global environmental challenges and helping cities achieve their sustainability goals. The D.C. chapter has grown to include 100 embassies and international organizations, while the Forum has also expanded to include chapters in Paris, France; Rome, Italy; and Bangkok, Thailand.
Tommy Wells, Director of the District of Colombia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), underscored the importance of the Forum, saying that partnerships and collaboration with city residents are critical in order for the city to achieve its ambitious sustainability goals.
“Cities are the problem, and cities are the solution,” he said, showcasing some of the city’s achievements. The city is the first U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified city in the world, and it has had the most Energy Star certified buildings of any metro area for three years in a row.
The diplomatic community has contributed to both of those achievements, with the Embassy of Finland obtaining the first LEED Platinum certification for an embassy in the world. The Embassy of France increased its Energy Star score through partnering with the city, the Anacostia Watershed Society, and the Sustainable Energy Utility to install energy conservation measures like a 10,000-square-foot ‘green roof,’ building automation system, and LED bulbs. Representatives from the Embassies of France and Finland noted that they have seen substantial savings from their sustainability initiatives - $150,000 and $300,000 a year, respectively.