Building and construction consume half of natural resources and are responsible for the lion’s share of carbon pollution

Now a new global collaboration of related groups will come together to tackle decarbonising their sector as the world readies for the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) starting in November in Glasgow.

A huge wake up call was the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth and damning report on the state of the climate.

The #BuildingtoCOP26 Coalition includes C40, the Global Alliance for Building and Construction (GlobalABC), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Resilience Shift, and the World Green Building Council (WGBC).

The aim is to raise awareness of the built environment’s role in accelerating climate change and highlight its potential to turn around performance.

The coalition’s actions will culminate at COP26 Cities, Region and Built Environment Day on 11 November, in partnership with the UN High Level Climate Champions, the COP26 Presidency and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The building sector is responsible for 40 per cent of all global emissions and half of all extracted materials. With a rapidly growing city population and rising demand for building stock, it is crucial that all existing and new buildings be sustainable and climate resilient.

Investment in a sustainable built environment would also be lucrative for businesses, worth an estimated $24.7 trillion by 2030.

The coalition has three primary goals:

  • adherance to the UN’s climate targets
  • halving the built environment’s emissions by 2030
  • ensuring all new and existing assets be net zero by 2050 at the latest

The other side of the coin is climate resilience, with many improvements required to better protect vulnerable populations and urban cities from the effects of climate change, including higher temperatures, rising sea levels and severe climate disasters.

The coalition is also encouraging all countries present to implement full building sector decarbonisation targets and policies in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), the climate actions each nation sets for the Paris Agreement.

Finally, the coalition aims to get 1000 cities and 20 per cent of the largest built environment businesses to commit to the UN’s Race to Zero.

The COP26 summit will take place in Glasgow beginning 1 November through 12 November, 2021.

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