COP26

Squinty Bridge, Glasgow

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May 26, 2021

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Policy & Advocacy

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The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow in November of this year, for what must be a key milestone moment – a historic turning point in our battle against climate change. It is an opportunity for nations, cities, businesses and civil society to demonstrate that the Paris Agreement is effective, momentum is unstoppable and – perhaps above all else – we are moving from targets to action.

The built environment is fundamental to many of the themes of COP26. It has a critical role to play in mitigating climate change, responsible for 39% of energy related CO2 emissions. It is also central to building resilience against climatic extremes too late to avoid, through nature-based solutions. It is key, also, to the aspiration of building back better after COVID.

UKGBC is committed to the following:

  1. Developing a strong profile for the built environment at COP26 while positioning the built environment and UK built environment industry as key part of solution – particularly in the context of a green recovery;
  2. Using the driver of COP26 to leverage even greater industry leadership and commitment across the sector;
  3. Advocating for the strengthening of key elements of UK Government buildings policy
  4. Providing opportunities and a platform for UKGBC members to engage with COP

Opportunities to get involved

  • Virtual Pavilion: UKGBC is acting as secretariat to the UK Built Environment Virtual Pavilion, which is being curated by a coalition of 30+ delivery partner organisations across the sector.  The Virtual Pavilion will enable widespread access and engagement with built environment issues at COP26 that will complement whatever activities are able to happen in person, and provide an online legacy that will last far beyond November. If your organisation is interested in becoming a delivery or funding partner, please contact
  • COP26 Built Environment Directory: UKGBC is publishing regularly updated editions of a built environment ‘directory’ – a resource detailing key assets and resources held by our members in and around Glasgow, for use by government officials, media and other key stakeholders. If your organisation is interested in being featured in this directory, please contact Clara Sibaud.
  • Race to Zero Campaign: This UNFCCC-back campaign, led by the High-Level Champions for Climate Action, is bringing together a coalition of global net zero initiatives. Organisations recognised by Race to Zero have committed to halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions as soon as possible (and by 2050 at the latest). As one of the first Accelerators to the campaign, UKGBC is actively encouraging members to join the race in the lead-up to and beyond COP.
  • WorldGBC Net Zero Carbon Buildings (NZCB) Commitment: The NZCB Commitment challenges organisations to commit to achieving net zero in scope 1 and 2 emissions for their building portfolio by 2030. Our member Commitment signatories play a front and centre role in our activities, member promotion, and engagement opportunities. If you would like to find out more about the Commitment and how you can commit, please contact Anna Biggs.
  • Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap: A major element of our COP advocacy is this year-long collaborative project, which will be launched at the conference. The development of the WLC Roadmap, jointly led by WorldGBC and UKGBC, will provide a pathway for the UK built environment industry to achieve net zero whole life carbon for all building types and infrastructure. For more details on the task groups supporting the development of the roadmap, see here. To receive regular updates directly, please contact Alexandra Jonca.
  • Resilience and Nature-Based Solutions: An important piece of work to explore nature-based solutions to climate resilience. Events throughout the year (TBC), with the final report also launching at the conference. For more information, visit our NBS webpage or contact Alastair Mant.
  • Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day: Following the announcement of a dedicated “Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day” at COP this year, UKGBC is supporting the World Green Building Council and Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction in their discussions with global NGOs and the UK Government to help inform the agenda. A monthly ‘Building to COP26’ Forum is run by WorldGBC and all UKGBC members are invited. Please contact COP26@ukgbc.org to be added to the invitation list.
  • Climate Commitment Platform: The CCP aims to showcase the climate commitment of companies, encourage further ambition and action and enable knowledge sharing across the built environment sector. In the lead-up to COP, we are hoping to profile more of our members’ commitments in this way. If you would like your organisation to feature on the CCP, please contact Clara Sibaud.