GlobalABC Adaptation Working Group
Data collected over the recent decades shows that the climate is currently changing at an unprecedented pace due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since 2007.
Climate change will have especially severe consequences all over the world for a built environment designed for steady conditions and for the communities that inhabit them. Understanding these consequences will require the use of projected climate data from RCP models on different spatial scales and several time horizons.
The GlobalABC Adaptation Working Group (WG), subgroup under the Work Area 2 (Public Policies), aims at coordinating building sector’s stakeholders (public and private) and pooling their expertise and resources to develop innovative solutions dedicated to resilience and adaptation.
Following the launch of the reports ‘Buildings and Climate Change Adaptation: A Call for Action’ and ‘Adaptation of the Building Sector to Climate Change: 10 Principles for Effective Action’ in 2021, this WG has been looking at a number of adaptation projects and how they respond to the 10 principles through the creation of "initiative notices". The group also developed a comparative review of the different methodologies available for assessing the resilience of buildings. Representatives of the subgroup presented these activities at several COP27 events, including a side event entitled "Adaptation and resilience ambitions for buildings". In early 2023, the GlobalABC Adaptation WG and the Alliance HQE launched a common reference framework dedicated to adapting cities and towns to climate change based on the 10 Principles for effective Action.
In the run-up to COP28, the WG is preparing a report on the evaluation of the contribution to climate change adaptation of all stakeholders along the buildings and construction value chain.
What trends are emerging in terms of risk evaluation globally? Should all risks be approached in the same way? What are the relevant indicators? How to act quickly and decisively to answer the ever-changing challenges of adaptation to climate change? These are the questions that this WG works to find answers to.
The WG's top priorities for 2023 include inducing a change in perception of adaptation efforts to climate change. Adaptation should no longer be understood as a series of one-off actions aimed at moving from an "ill-adapted" to an "adapted" status, but rather as a measurable, continuous and evolving process. In particular, the group is working on evaluating stakeholders’ contribution to climate change adaptation along the value chain of the buildings and construction sector.