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Global alliance formed to help buildings combat climate change

Eighteen countries and over 60 organisations have launched an unprecedented global alliance for buildings and construction to combat climate change.

Ministers from the 18 countries (Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America), and over 60 organizations launched an unprecedented 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.

The Alliance, which gathers organisations from countries to cities, NGOs, public and private organisations, networks of professionals, of cities, of companies as well as financing institutions, announced the initiative at the Lima to Paris Action Agenda Focus on Buildings, in Paris.

Among other members, the International Union of Architects (UIA) now represents, through national architecture organizations, close to 1.3 million architects worldwide; the World Green Building Council

(WGBC) represents 27000 companies involved in green buildings business worldwide; the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) represents 180000 building surveyors globally; the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) represents the construction sector employers through 33 national federations in 29 countries.

The buildings and construction sector is responsible for 30% of global CO2 emissions but it also has the potential to avoid about 3.2GtCO2 by 2050 through mainstreaming today’s available state-of-the-art policies and technologies.

Reducing energy demand in the building sector is one of the most cost-effective strategies for achieving significant greenhouse gas reductions.

As of Thursday 3 December, 91 countries have included elements of commitments, national programs, or projects and plans relating to buildings in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the declarations by countries of what they are prepared to commit to.

As cities keep on growing until more than 70% of the global population will call urban areas home, it becomes crucial for the sector to reduce its emissions and build in greater resilience against climate change.

Commenting on the launch of the action plan, WBCSD president and CEO Peter Bakker said: “The LCTPi-EEB proposes a clear way forward to multiply local action plans on energy efficiency in buildings across the globe.

“Partnerships are key to scaling up energy efficiency projects. Alliances such as the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction will be critical for channeling collaborative action among local and global players in the buildings space.”

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