Jun 21, 2012

U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability Launches Online Tool

Will be used to inform global urban infrastructure investments

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and Brazilian Minister for the Environment Izabella Teixeira announced a new online tool that highlights key links between policies, funding and on-the-ground projects that can help drive urban sustainability investment around the world. The benefits of sustainable urban infrastructure include healthier air and water, job creation and economic development. Jackson and Teixeira announced the Web platform, which was developed under the U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability (JIUS), during the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro.

"This interactive Web platform is designed to serve as an entry point for everyone from local officials to investors who are looking for the best strategies for investment in urban sustainability," said Administrator Jackson. "Right now the platform represents an array of different approaches, not a comprehensive or one-size-fits-all plan. We believe that this collection of policy instruments, financial mechanisms and project examples can serve as a model for sustainable development in cities around the world."

The platform features expertise from a range of public and private sector leaders, including: federal, state and local government officials, corporate, financial, academic and community leaders and innovators from Rio de Janeiro and Philadelphia. Government leaders of the JIUS are working with C40 Cities, a forum for the world’s largest cities to collaborate on addressing climate change, and other partners, to expand this platform to include urban sustainability efforts happening in cities around the world.

A global coalition of partners including C40 Cities, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Tijuca Center for Applied Sustainability, U.S. Green Building Council and Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, also plan to announce new efforts during the Rio+20 conference to advance the work of the JIUS globally.

In March 2011, President Obama and President Rousseff announced the creation of the U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability, an innovative public-private partnership for catalyzing investment in sustainable urban infrastructure and expanding markets for clean technology, products and services. The JIUS serves as a platform for identifying and overcoming key barriers to investment and deployment of clean infrastructure.