U.S. President Obama Friday announced nearly $4 billion in public and private energy upgrades to buildings that he said will create tens of thousands of jobs.The investments, to take place over the next two years, \"will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector,\" the White House said in a statement.\"The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a presidential memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers,\" the statement said. \"In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects. … This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.\"\"Upgrading the energy efficiency of America\'s buildings is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to save money, cut down on harmful pollution, and create good jobs right now,\" Obama said. \"But we can\'t wait for Congress to act. So today, I\'m directing all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next 2 years -- at no up-front cost to the taxpayer. Coupled with today\'s extraordinary private sector commitments of $2 billion to upgrade businesses, factories, and military housing, America is taking another big step towards the competitive, clean energy economy it will take to win the future.\"\"Investments in building retrofits and energy efficiency can make a real difference in the American economy, by creating jobs, growing our industries, improving businesses\' bottom lines, reducing our energy bills and consumption, and preserving our planet for future generations,\" former President Bill Clinton added. \"I am proud the Clinton Foundation has been able to help develop and grow President Obama\'s Better Buildings Challenge, and that so many members of the Clinton Global Initiative have joined this Challenge. Working together, I am pleased the commitments to the BBC have grown from the initial $500 million and 300 million square feet that we announced in June at CGI America, to the $2 billion investment with over 1 billion square feet of retrofitted space that we are announcing today.\"Companies and institutions involved in the upgrades include 3M, Alcoa, Allegheny College, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the cities of Denver and Sacramento, GE and Michigan State University.