Highlights of the COP21’s Buildings Day


In line with the launch of Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, the fourth day of the COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris was named Buildings Day. Hosted by the World Green Building Council with the help of UNEP and other partners, the sector aims to scale up attempts to de-carbonise.

The alliance consists of over 60 organizations and eighteen countries in Asia such as Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and UEA, as well as other countries across Europe, Africa, and the US.

During the event, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) gave a statement to bring about ‘global market transformation’ which plans to achieve ‘net zero greenhouse – gas emissions’ as well as energy efficiency retrofit of existing stock by 2050.

The IEA estimates that by 2020, an additional $220 billion is required – this is nearly a 50% increase from investments being put into energy efficient buildings in 2014. The building sector needs to be prepared as they will increasingly be expected to take responsibility in pursuing climate & green building goals, with pressure coming from the society.

Private players in the building and infrastructure businesses also take bigger responsibility in addressing their carbon footprint reduction efforts and beef up their initiatives to accelerate the achievement of their sustainability goals.

Some of the key takeaways we have spotted are as follow.

Green Building Councils’ Commitment

Four Green Building Councils in Asia – Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, and India, along with other green building councils worldwide have committed to mobilise a global market transformation in order to advance by 2030 and achieve 2050’s two fundamentals goals, Net Zero carbon new building & energy efficiency, and deep refurbishment of existing stock.

Beyond Asia : EU firms to develop Nearly Zero Energy Buildings

Sixteen major European firms have pledged to develop ‘nearly zero energy buildings’ (nZEB) for the new buildings by 2020 and refurbished buildings by 2030 in response to the lack of coordinated approach across the built environment sector in the delivery of energy efficient building.

Google’s green initiatives

Google is said to be joining the RE100 campaign, a global initiative launched at the Climate Week New York in 2014, which targets to triple its purchase of renewable energy by 2025 and also a long term goal to power all of its operations with clean energy. Google also announced that they will purchase a further 842 MW of energy for the new wind and solar project around the world.

Approximately a third of global carbon emissions come out of buildings worldwide. The advisable number of change required to make a difference by this sector is 84 gigatonnes of emission reduction by 2020 – equivalent to emissions from about 22,000 coal power plants.

COP21’s Buildings Day has embarked a stronger commitment by various stakeholders across different industries to tackle climate change. Asia, too, hopefully will carry on to reduce carbon footprints and instead make more green footprints.

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