A report has been published outlining the progress of a global movement to accelerate the decarbonisation of the built environment on the eve of it being declared a critical climate sector at this year’s UN Climate Summit COP28.
The Advancing Net Zero (ANZ) Status Report by the World Green Building Council (GBC) states that the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment now has 175 signatories (including businesses, organisations, cities, states and regions), with 140 business signatories that are responsible for around $400 billion annual turnover, holding nearly 20,000 assets collectively across 75 countries, taking action at scale to decarbonise their portfolios.
Built environment will be established as a critical climate sector at the UN Climate Summit COP28 in Dubai, UAE on 6 December.
The World GBC Advancing Net Zero global programme in collaboration with GBCs, partners and Commitment signatories aims to accelerate action “at a local, regional and global level towards achieving the breakthrough moment to decarbonise the built environment”.
Last month it was revealed that a critical point had been reached as 20% of key actors from the building and construction sector had joined the Race to Zero.
Each GBC is also engaging its members and other entities to speed up the transformation of the sector.
Commitment signatories continue to “showcase industry leadership, and in the report, we detail examples of signatories delivering decarbonisation action across their portfolios”, it states. It highlights AMP Capital’s Quay Quarter Tower, a repurposed building of a 1970s skyscraper in Sydney, Australia, as an example. Two-thirds of the old structure and 95% of the building’s core were salvaged, saving around 12,000 tonnes of carbon and an estimated US $102 million.
The report states that the industry “still faces challenges in scaling up solutions, and ensuring all buildings are fit for purpose while minimising their impact on our planet” but pointed to the work, resources, and case studies “that are helping to overcome challenges such as access to finance, electrification, offsets, existing buildings, embodied carbon, benchmarks and more”.
Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “WorldGBC’s Advancing Net Zero programme is making critical steps towards total sector decarbonisation. This report once again highlights the game-changing achievements from the leading work of our GBCs, programme partners and Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment signatories, who are driving solutions and demonstrating that industry is ready for bolder ambition.
“In the run-up to the UN Climate Summit COP28 in Dubai, UAE, the world’s first Global Stocktake year should serve as a reminder for governments to reflect on how their actions and policies will help them achieve the goals they signed up to under the Paris agreement.
“We know that the solutions exist for a decarbonised future; and our network is ready to support industry and government to ensure that pledges, commitments and promises are turned into action that is delivering the change at a scale that our world demands.”