09/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 09:43
WorldGBC has announced an update to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment) to which we are a signatory, expanding its scope to recognise enhanced leadership action in tackling embodied carbon emissions from the building and construction sector.
The built environment is responsible for almost 40% of global carbon emissions, with 10% from embodied carbon from materials and construction processes.
To limit warming to no more than 1.5°C as set out in the Paris Agreement, the #BuildingToCOP26 Coalitionhas called for emissions from buildings globally to be halved by 2030, and to reach net zero life-cycle emissions for all buildings by no later than 2050.
As part of the efforts to accelerate these goals, WorldGBC has announced that in addition to the Commitment requiring all building assets within direct control to account for all operational carbon emissions (released from the energy used to heat, light, cool and power them) by 2030, from 1st January 2023 businesses and organisations will also be required to:
How the Commitment drives decarbonisation with a reduction-first approach
WorldGBC's Whole Life Carbon Visionfor the sector includes a roadmap for the decarbonisation of the built environment, with critical 2030 interim goals and total decarbonisation by 2050. It is outcomes based and action focused, requiring signatories to develop a bespoke roadmap to decarbonise their portfolios by following best practice principles prioritising reduction of energy consumption and embodied carbon, and the use of renewable energy.
This leadership action of Commitment signatories, reinforced with the additional focus on maximum reductions of embodied carbon, means that all new developments and renovations will also prioritise the efficient use of low carbon materials and construction processes, reduce reliance on fossil fuels in construction, and support the transition to a fully decarbonised built environment.
The Commitment promotes aggressive reduction-first strategies, with residual emissions being compensated for via best practice offsets. Until reductions in fossil fuel consumption and emissions become business as usual as part of energy systems and supply chain production processes, there will be some reliance on offsets in order to achieve the balance of net zero emissions. However, through the leadership of Commitment signatories driving demand for low carbon materials and practices, this is expected to reduce over time.
Find out more at https://buildingtocop.org/
Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council said: 'The update to the WorldGBC's Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment elevates the ambition for the building and construction sector to go further and faster to decarbonise. It sets a target for compensating for emissions associated with buildings and construction, and the tangible social and environmental co-benefits of this approach creates a powerful catalyst towards achieving the Paris Agreement goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. Achieving our vision of sustainable buildings for everyone, everywhere means acting now to tackle upfront carbon, whilst planning with whole life carbon in mind.'
The Commitment in numbers
The Commitment now has a total of 143 signatories, with 109 businesses and organisations including Assura; 28 cities; and 6 states and regions. The businesses and organisations signed up to the Commitment account for over 5.3 million (tCO2e) of portfolio emissions, and are already taking significant steps to decarbonise their portfolio operations. Find out more about our Commitment signatories here.