Today is a green day here in Tokyo. Alongside Secretary of State Tony Blinken, I am proud to announce that the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and our five Consulates throughout Japan will run on 100% carbon-free electricity.
The U.S. Mission to Japan is the first U.S. diplomatic mission in the world of this size to make the switch, and we will not be the last. The shift to clean, green energy will produce tangible results. In Tokyo, the Embassy’s switch to green power and the Ambassador’s Residence will reduce CO2 emissions by 1,857 tons per year, the equivalent of 640 households in Japan. When we add the five consulates, together, the total CO2 reduction is equivalent to more than 900 households in Japan.
Following the G7 Climate, Energy, and Environment Ministers’ meeting in Hokkaido last weekend and in advance of Earth Day this weekend, I am delighted to share this announcement during Secretary Blinken’s visit. Addressing climate change is a priority for President Biden, for the Secretary, and for me, going back to my time as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Mayor of Chicago. Climate change is the challenge of the century, and I am proud of the green legacy that we will leave behind.
The switch to green energy is just one of the many environmentally-friendly measures that we have taken here at the U.S. Embassy. Other sustainable practices include:
- Installing LED lighting and double-paned windows throughout Embassy living quarters on our housing compound
- Installed amenities throughout the Embassy that minimize water use
- Building automated systems that monitor and regulate cooling, heating, and lighting
- Purchasing green vehicles
- Instituting an Embassy recycling program
- Organizing an Embassy Green Team to consider environmentally friendly measures
- Adopting “Cool Biz” to permit cooler clothing during the summer as a way to conserve energy
- Increasing air filter and evaporator coil cleaning and maintenance for efficient operation of the Air Handling Units (AHUs) and Fan Coil Units (FCUs)
- Installing motion sensors to automatically turn off lights when people leave workspaces, as well as dimmable lights to reduce energy use