Global alliance forms in Paris to cut emissions from buildings

Eighteen countries and over 60 organisations today launched an unprecedented "Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction" to speed up the sector’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and build greater climate resilience into cities and infrastructure.

The alliance announced the initiative during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) underway in Paris.

It says the buildings and construction sector is responsible for 30% of global CO2 emissions, but that it also has the potential to avoid about 3.2GtCO2 by 2050 through mainstreaming available policies and technologies.

The signatory countries are: Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Signatory organisations include the International Union of Architects, which represents close to 1.3 million architects worldwide; the World Green Building Council (WGBC); the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); and the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC).

The alliance’s goals include:

  • minimizing energy demand;
  • greening the construction value chain;
  • integrating renewables through district energy;
  • implementing integrated building design and urban planning; and
  • engaging financing institutions.

Organising the alliance is the Lima to Paris Action Agenda Focus on Buildings, a joint undertaking of the Peruvian and French COP presidencies, the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UNFCCC Secretariat.

Photograph: Downtown Lima, Peru (Wikimedia Commons)

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