Countries unite to launch Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction
At the UN CIimate Change Conference, which took place in Paris from 30 November to 12 December, 20 countries and over 60 organisations launched the? Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to speed up and scale up the sector’s huge potential to reduce its emissions and build greater climate resilience into future cities and infrastructure. Ibrahim Thiaw of UNEP and co-founder of the Alliance noted that the building sector represents 30 percent of global CO² emissions. “What will be done in this sector is crucial for the future of developing countries,” he said. The Alliance, which gathers countries, international organisations, multinational CEOs and civil society leaders, was announced at the Lima to Paris Action Agenda Focus on Buildings, in Paris. Members include, the International Union of Architects, which, through national architecture organisations, represents close to 1.3 million architects worldwide; the World Green Building Council that acts for 27,000 companies involved in the green building industry; the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which represents 180,000 building surveyors; and the European Construction Industry Federation, which represents the construction sector employers through 33 national federations in 29 countries. “We can only be successful if we bring together a broad coalition of city regulators, businesses and financing institutions,” said Naoko Ishii, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Environment Facility. “To help create such alliances the Global Environment Facility, in partnership with the World Resources Institute and the UN Environment Programme, is committing financing for two new initiatives, The Building Efficiency Accelerator and The District Energy Accelerator.” The buildings and construction sector is responsible for 30 percent of global CO² emissions but it also has the potential to avoid about 3.2 gigatons CO² equivilant by 2050 through mainstreaming policies and technologies. Reducing energy demand in the building sector is one of the most cost-effective strategies for achieving significant greenhouse gas reductions. With support and greater awareness, many more may realise the potential for the building sector to contribute to realising national targets. Yet, the building sector is very local and needs to align many different actors, which is a primary objective of the new alliance. The 20 countries committed to the Alliance are: Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Dubai, Ukraine, Armenia, Vietnam.
By Nick Mi??chell
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Photo: UNEP