From 7 to 18 November, 2016, countries will be attending the 22nd UN Framework for Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties – known as COP22 – in Marrakech, Morocco. WorldGBC will be attending alongside a number of Green Building Councils, WorldGBC partners, and numerous Green Building Council members.
Why is COP22 important?
- COP22 is the first major UN climate change meeting since the historic COP21 in Paris, France, last December, where the Paris Agreement on limiting climate change to within 2 (and even 1.5) degrees was reached by 195 countries
- COP22 will focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement (which came into force on 4 November 2016).
- For the second year in row, buildings will feature heavily on the agenda with a second Buildings Day, as part of a wider day on resilience and buildings.
- COP22 represents a shift from commitments to action – and provides an opportunity for GBCs to highlight the progress they and their members have made on implementing actions against their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings
- COP22 also demonstrates how GBCs are taking real action on the ground. e.g. Morocco GBC is playing a pivotal role in the conference, and is hosting an outdoor Buildings Day (a walking tour of green buildings) and a Regional Network meeting attended by six GBCs from the MENA region.
- COP22 will also focus on other key climate change issues such as climate finance, broader social and economic targets within the Sustainable Development Goals, and the so called “global stocktake” process of updating nationally determined contributions (NDCs) with increasing climate ambition every five years.
What will happen at COP22?
WorldGBC is involved in the following events:
- November 9: Meeting of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, of which WorldGBC and GBCs are members
- November 10: The second Buildings Day, held in both the green zone (open to the public with a specific registration process) and the blue zone (restricted to those with UNFCCC accreditation).
- November 11: An outdoor ‘Buildings Day’, hosted by UNEP and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, and organised with the support of Morocco GBC. This event will involve an architectural walking tour of Marrakech, with a focus on green buildings. Speakers include: Glen Murray, OntarioMinister of the Environment & Climate Change; the countries of Mexico, Morocco, France, Finland and Germany; the International Finance Corporation; and Terri Wills, CEO of WorldGBC. See the latest agenda attached.
- November 12: Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) Breakfast hosted by WorldGBC and the World Resources Institute for cities and GBCs that are participating in the BEA.
- November 12: WorldGBC MENA Regional Network meeting to discuss forward plans, and to provide input into the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction plans for the MENA region.
Aside from our involvement in these events, there will be the usual negotiations between delegates from participating nations.
Why do buildings matter?
- Buildings account for almost one third of global greenhouse gas emissions – and that’s just today.
- Our growing population means that energy demand in buildings could increase by 50 per cent by 2050, and global building floor area is expected to double by 2050, increasing emissions from buildings.
- Emissions will dramatically increase if we continue building ‘business-as-usual’: the International Energy Agency indicates we are on track to 6 degrees of global warming if projected growth is combined with a ‘business-as-usual’ approach.
- But buildings offer the largest cost-effective potential to reduce emissions, with cost savings and economic gains possible by using existing technologies, policies and building designs.
What progress has WorldGBC, and its Green Building Councils, made against commitments announced at COP22?
- At COP21, WorldGBC – together with its Green Building Council and their members – made the high level commitment to reduce 84 gigatonnes of CO2 (GtC02) from buildings by 2050 (note: this number refers to direct emissions from buildings, and does not include indirect emissions e.g. from central energy supply). See the International Energy Agency’s business-as-usual scenario below. We committed to do so through net zero carbon buildings and the energy efficient refurbishment of our existing building stock.
- WorldGBC has launched its Advancing Net Zero project which aims to ensure that all buildings are net zero carbon by 2050.
- WorldGBC also moved ahead to the public phase of the European BUILD UPON project, the world’s largest collaborative project on building renovation. To date, over 1,000 key stakeholders in building renovation have been engaged, with 50 out of 80 workshops already taken place across Europe.
- A number of GBCs have reported progress made on their commitments since COP21. All of these updates, and the original commitments, will be found on this page of the Better Build Green website.
What is WorldGBC’s Advancing Net Zero project doing?
- There are two key goals under the project:
- All new buildings and major renovations should be net zero starting in 2030 (meaning no buildings should be built below net zero standards beyond 2030). 100% of buildings should be net zero by 2050
- 75,000 professionals will be trained on net zero building by 2030, and 300,000 by 2050.
- 10 Green Building Councils have already signed up to the project (from an initial three), committing to implement net zero certification (or designation) schemes in their countries, and to train green building professionals in net zero building principles.
- A number of Green Building Councils are expected to make announcements on introducing net zero certification / designation at COP22, and WorldGBC will be communicating this.
Additional key statistics
- 88 countries (including the European Union) have included building and construction actions in their intended or now submitted NDCs. Note: Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) which were made by countries before COP21 last December, are now being referred to as simply Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
- More than 3,000 city-level and 500 private sector commitments and actions have been registered in the building sector by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- To stay within a 2 degrees pathway, the building sector must avoid at least 50% of projected growth in energy consumption through energy efficient, near-zero, net zero energy and energy-plus buildings in new construction, as well as deep renovation of the existing building stock by 2030.
- This transformation requires investing an additional US$220 billion annually by 2020 – an almost 50% increase on 2014 investments in energy-efficient buildings. This does not necessarily require new funding, but rather a modest reallocation of less than 3% of the current total global annual investment in construction activity (roughly US$8.5 trillion in 2014).