Building codes: they might sound boring, but they’re actually the front lines in a nationwide battle to decarbonize our buildings. And they do a lot more than keeping your  home from falling down over your head. They regulate everything from energy efficiency, to the kind of fuel your stove runs on, to whether your building has an electric vehicle charging port – all super important facets of building decarbonization. And if designed correctly, building codes can also help address issues like public health, pollution, and even adaptation to the effects of climate change.

In this episode, Melissa speaks with Michael Gerrard, an expert on environment and climate law and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University about how to unlock this secret weapon – and what’s getting in the way of greener building codes. 

The Big Switch is produced by Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy in partnership with Post Script Media. This episode was produced by Alexandria Herr and Daniel Woldorff. Theme music and mixing by Sean Marquand. Story editing by Anne Bailey. A special thanks to Natalie Volk, Kirsten Smith and Kyu Lee. Our executive editor is Stephen Lacey.