A new study (PDF) from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development finds that folks in the real estate and construction businesses overestimate the cost of building green by 300%.

Specifically, the 1,400 professionals surveyed across the globe estimated that:

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  • green building costs 17% more than normal building, when the reality is 5%, and
  • greenhouse gases from buildings are 19% of the global total, when the reality is 40%.

Got that? People in the relevant industries underestimate the damage their products are doing, and overestimate how much it costs to clean them up.

You can read the study as disheartening, but I actually find it incredibly hopeful. This is over a third of our global GHG emissions that can be eliminated, cost-effectively, with current technology and practices. All that’s needed is evangelism.

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We can do that, right?