The Mechanical Contractors Association of America has signed an agreement with the William J. Clinton Foundation to provide technical assistance for the development of an energy-efficient building-retrofit program.

MCAA President David J. Kruse joined former U.S. President Bill Clinton May 16 in New York City. They were joined by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and London Mayor Ken Livingstone for the announcement. The program is designed to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

MCAA will lend its expertise and experience to the Clinton Climate Initiative as it tries to provide large cities with technical assistance on actions to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change is a global problem that requires local action,” said Clinton. “The businesses, banks and cities partnering with my foundation are addressing the issue of global warming because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good for their bottom line. They’re going to save money, make money, create jobs and have a tremendous collective impact on climate change all at once. I’m proud of them for showing leadership on the critical issue of climate change and I thank them for their commitment to this new initiative.”

Kruse said his association was excited about the agreement.

“MCAA views our work with the Clinton Climate Initiative as a great opportunity to show the world what mechanical contractors can do to help solve one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Kruse.

The MCAA said that urban areas are responsible for approximately 75 percent of all energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and in cities that percentage is even higher. In newer cities, buildings can account for 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and in older cities, 70 percent.

The program will provide both cities and private owners access to the necessary funds to retrofit existing buildings with more energy-efficient products. In the United States, less than 1 percent of the potential market is being tapped.

Four of the world’s largest energy service companies will work with five of the largest banks to retrofit buildings in 16 major cities. The banks have committed to arrange $5 billion in financing. Participating cities include Chicago, Houston, New York and Toronto.