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Washington sets example as most sustainable city


REUTERS
WASHINGTON
On a work day, the US capital does not appear much more"sustainable" than any other major city. Its streets are packed with cars, lights flicker in offices long after the occupants have gone home, and stark economic divides persist between neighbourhoods.
But beneath the surface, something is working in Washington, DC, experts say.
In August, the city was the first to receive the top"platinum" certification under a global sustainability programme called LEED for Cities, which tracks performance on energy use, waste management, water, transport and even quality of life. Washington was joined by Phoenix in December.
The LEED for Cities framework is an expansion of the world's most widely used rating system for green buildings.
Places earning top marks with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) could serve as a model around the world seeking to prove to investors and others that their cities are clean, green and offer a high quality of life.
With more certifications expected in early 2018, organisers say surging interest stems from the Paris Agreement on climate change which has paved the way for local governments to step up as leaders in caring for the planet.
More than 100 cities around the world have expressed interest in the program so far.

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