ANSWER: As the planet warms, governments have debated how best to abate greenhouse emissions and mitigate climate change.

Residential buildings are a particular worry as they leave big environmental footprints. For example, in the United States in 2008, residential buildings accounted for over 20 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions and building-related construction, while demolition debris totalled around 160 million tonnes.

Accordingly, some countries have implemented schemes that certify buildings as "green" in order to encourage the construction of more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient buildings.

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