Congressional Briefing - April 12, 2010

Improving the Energy Performance of Buildings: Learning from the European Union and Australia

The Montgomery Park Business Center in Baltimore, Maryland featuring green roof technology, photo courtesy of


Ambassador Charles Ries
Senior Fellow, RAND Corporation


Monday, April 12, 2010


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.


122 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

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About the Program

In developed countries, more than a third of all energy is used to heat, cool, and illuminate buildings—efficiently or not. Increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy use in buildings can play an important part in policies designed to improve energy security and limit the risks of climate change.

This briefing will include

  • an overview of the European Union's and Australia's experiences driving energy efficiency in the building sector
  • public policy approaches Europeans and Australians have used to overcome market imperfections and drive investment in efficiency
  • a discussion on the lessons the United States can learn from these efforts.

About the Speaker

Ambassador Charles Ries is a senior fellow at RAND. He most recently served as the Minister for Economic Affairs and Coordinator for Economic Transition in Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Before that, he was U.S. Ambassador to Greece and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. In earlier state department assignments, Ries was the Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in London and Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the EU. He served as Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for North American Affairs and as a member of the NAFTA negotiating team.

About RAND

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND focuses on the issues that matter most such as health, education, national security, international affairs, law and business, the environment, and more. As a nonpartisan organization, RAND operates independent of political and commercial pressures. We serve the public interest by helping lawmakers reach informed decisions on the nation's pressing challenges.

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Further Inquiries

For further information about this event, contact the Office of Congressional Relations at or call (703) 413-1100, ext. 5395.