Construction sector commits to big carbon savings at COP21

The UK Green Building Council has come together with Green Building Councils from around the world to publish a series of commitments from the private sector that would result in massive carbon savings from buildings and construction.

Formally published at Buildings Day at the COP21 international meeting on climate change in Paris last December, the commitments include corporate pledges from more than 50 businesses operating in the UK, and over 100 globally, committing to play their part in delivering the necessary carbon reductions.

UK Green Building Council members to issue corporate pledges on carbon included major construction companies and developers such as The Crown Estate, Marks & Spencer, British Land, LendLease, Land Securities, Derwent, Argent and Kingfisher.

Meanwhile all 74 national Green Building Councils, under the umbrella of the World Green Building Council, committed to driving ‘net zero carbon’ new building and large scale energy efficient refurbishment of the existing building stock. The sector must reduce emissions by 84 gigatonnes of CO2 by 2050, the equivalent of taking 22,000 coalfired power stations out of existence. Green building councils around the world committed to register, renovate or certify over 1.25 billion square metres of green building space (twice the size of Singapore) and train over 127,000 green building professionals by 2020.

Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of the UK Green Building Council, said: “There is a clear business case for the construction and real estate sector to cut carbon emissions from buildings. The climate pledge commitments from our members demonstrate the widespread industry support for urgent action, and point to a market that is transforming itself.”

Meanwhile World Green Building Council CEO Terri Wills commented: “Today marks a turning point in history. Politicians and business leaders now jointly recognise that the way we build can lead to economic growth and prosperity without risking life on the planet, and that the private sector is a driving force in achieving this goal.

“While the building sector is a major contributor to climate change, it is an essential part of the solution – and one that brings immediate benefits to economy and society. Green building councils, their private sector members and government partners have committed to transform the global buildings industry to not only help us reach a two degree world tomorrow, but enable us to realise the direct benefits from a new way of building – today.”

Last modified on Friday, 05 February 2016 10:02

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