WorldGBC and Global Leaders call for Built Environment Day at COP26

A LETTER calling for a Built Environment Day at the COP26 climate summit in November 2021 has been signed by the World Green Building Council with nine other international organisations.

If the day went ahead at COP26 the hope is that it would be dedicated to pathways to speed up decarbonisation of the built environment.

The move comes a few days after WorldGBC took part in the UN’s Race To Zero Dialogues, discussing how policy, finance and industry leadership can accelerate decarbonisation and ensure the resilience of built environment assets.

Construction carbon emissions

Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council said“It is essential to have a full day to recognise the building and construction industry at COP26. The sector accounts for nearly 40% of global energy and process-related emissions, up to 10% of global employment and around 50% of global wealth. Despite this, our sector often remains a blind spot in global climate negotiations.

The letter – addressed to Business minister, Alok Sharma as the COP26 President – argues that a Built Environment Day at COP26 would spotlight the sector’s unique capability to deliver powerful zero carbon solutions and serve as a rallying point for the sector’s diverse stakeholders.

The day would allow the sector to collaborate with governments and policymakers and catalyse action towards ambitious targets for 2030 and beyond.

The letter was signed by:

  • Martina Otto, Head of Secretariat, Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction
  • Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities
  • Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group
  • Andrew Higham, Chief Executive, MISSION 2020
  • Cristina Gamboa, CEO, World Green Building Council
  • Peter Bakker, CEO, World Business Council Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • Maria Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business
  • Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute
  • Julie Hirigoyen, CEO, UK Green Building Council
  • Marco Caffi, Executive Director, Green Building Council Italia

The letter urges the COP26 organisers to recognise the central role the buildings and construction sector can play in overcoming the climate and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 by driving a green recovery and supporting a climate-resilient future.

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