The key role of buildings in climate change – COP21, Paris

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The (green) buildings sector has gained significant importance in mitigating climate change through a new campaign called “Better Build Green” by the World Green Building Council which focuses on the COP21 in Paris where politicians, business leaders, and UN negotiators are brought together to discuss the role of the buildings and construction sector in tackling global warming.

The campaign, is the first of its kind on climate negotiations. The official Buildings Day was held on 3rd December to highlight the green buildings’ key role in reducing emissions and creating economical and societal benefit aiming to offer one of the best and most cost-effective way to combat climate change.

According to Terri Wills, the CEO of the World Green Building Council, what will be highlighted is how green buildings create huge opportunities in the economy as well as highlighting how green buildings improve people’s health, wellbeing and productivity. It is even estimated that an 11 per cent of productivity increase can be generated by green features such as improved indoor air quality.

Green buildings also prove to give positive impacts on the environment by considerably reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. The WorldGBC and the International Energy Agency suggest that 84 gigatonnes of CO2 must be reduced by 2050 if the sectors is to play its part in limiting global warming to 2 degrees. Further to that point, on the same day, a Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) will be officially launched with the aim of putting the sector firmly on track to stay below the 2ºC threshold.

Buildings Day will also present a new alliance with Global ABC of more than 100 countries, cities and organisations – including WorldGBC and its 74 Green Building Councils – that will publicly commit to achieving their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) through green buildings. So far, at least 40 countries have specifically referred to the buildings sector as one of the means by which they can achieve their INDCs.

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