We may well look back on the climate negotiations (COP21) in Paris in late 2015 as a vital turning point in the global battle against climate change. The UK Green Building Council worked alongside GBCs in other countries to catalyse private sector action in advance of COP21 by encouraging our members to publish "Climate Pledges". Following the success of Paris, we continue to work with both industry and government to move from target-setting to delivery.
This call to action supported the inaugural “Buildings Day” at COP21 on 3rd December 2015. Organised through the UN, Buildings Day was designed to help put the buildings and construction sector on a “below 2°C path”.
For more information on the latest climate science, see these slides or the video below from our recent event.
CALL TO ACTION – PART 1: GLOBAL
As a key stakeholder in Buildings Day, WorldGBC – supported by UK-GBC and other national GBCs - issued a “Collective Commitment” on the role that buildings must play at the global scale:
Buildings account for about a third of CO2 emissions globally and will continue to rise under a business-as-usual scenario. To play its part in limiting global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, the sector must reduce its emissions by a total of 84 GtCO2 by 2050.
Green Buildings are the solution. Cost-effective, they generate economic, health, and social benefits for all.
We - World Green Building Council, national Green Building Councils and member companies - commit to mobilising a global market transformation in order to advance by 2030 and achieve by 2050 two fundamental goals:
- Net Zero carbon new building
- Energy efficiency and deep refurbishment of existing stock
CALL TO ACTION – PART 2: CORPORATE
Such a global, high level commitment is only worthwhile if we, collectively, have the means to back it up and implement change in our businesses and on the ground.
UK-GBC members made their own specific corporate commitments - "Climate Pledges" - demonstrating their ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment. View the pledges.
UK-GBC considers itself as playing a vital role in enabling radical change in the market, and we know that we too must reduce our own carbon impact. Therefore, as a contribution towards Buildings Day we issued our own pledges:
Value Chain Transformation
- By 2020 we will have trained over 5000 professionals, through a total of 20,000 hours of formalised training and practical learning on the delivery of energy efficiency and net zero carbon solutions.
- By 2020, we will have engaged over 200 board level business leaders in the green building agenda, through our Leaders Network.
- By 2020 we will have trained 150 “future leaders”, in a programme of innovation and leadership, ensuring that the business leaders of tomorrow are prepared to adapt to risks and maximise low carbon opportunities.
- We will work with our members to measure and promote the commercial value drivers for investing in, developing, designing, constructing, and operating low and zero carbon buildings.
- We will strengthen the business case for investment in low and zero carbon buildings by promoting the co-benefits of health and wellbeing through the “Better Places for People” campaign.
Government Policy and Strategy
- We will work with government at the national and local level to enable the development and implementation of policies that promote green building, in support of the Construction 2025 target of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment
Measurement and Accountability
- We will offer support and challenge to our members, on their processes for measuring greenhouse gas emissions; targeting improvements, and reporting transparently on performance.
- By 2020 we will achieve a 40% improvement in electricity efficiency (excl heating & cooling) and source 100% of our electricity from renewable energy
For more information, please contact John Alker.