At the Global Climate Action Summit, the World Green Building Council launched its Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, uniting 38 businesses, cities, states and regions around targets to eliminate emissions from buildings.
The participating cities, states and regions commit to net zero carbon targets for new buildings after 2030 and to eliminate operational emissions from existing buildings by 2050.
The participating businesses commit to eliminating emissions from 10.7 million square meters of building space.
If realized, these commitments will reduce emissions by 209 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
13 September 2018: The World Green Building Council (WGBC) announced the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS). The initiative unites 38 signatories, including businesses, cities, states and regions, in their ambition to eliminate carbon emissions from buildings to save 209 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2050.
Construction and operation of buildings is responsible for 36% of global energy use and 39% of energy-related CO2 emissions. To reduce these emissions, governments around the world are developing standards for zero or near-zero emissions buildings and policies that aim to eliminate carbon emissions from buildings by increasing their energy efficiency and sourcing power from on-site or off-site renewable energy sources.
Under WGBC’s initiative, 22 cities, and four states and regions commit to enact regulations or policies that will require new buildings to be net zero carbon from 2030 onward, and for existing buildings to eliminate operational emissions by 2050. The 12 participating businesses set targets to eliminate operational carbon emissions from 10.7 million square meters of building space by 2030, aiming to support a wider market transformation towards net zero carbon buildings by 2050.
Industry, mayors and governors are willing to take drastic action to prevent catastrophic climate change.
In its press release, WGBC notes that the combined commitments will lead to a reduction of 209 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) by 2050. It further states that the commitment proves that “industry, mayors and governors are willing to take drastic action to prevent catastrophic climate change and create more comfortable, healthy and future-proofed environments for their employees and residents to occupy.”
Business partners to the Commitment were recruited in collaboration with the Green Building Council Network; cities were recruited in partnership with C40; and the selection of states and regions was supported by The Climate Group as Secretariat of the Under2 Coalition. The GCAS was held from 12-14 September in San Francisco, US. [GCAS Press Release] [WGBC Press Release] [GCAS Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Mayors Committing to Net Zero Carbon Buildings by 2030]