The GlobalABC engages in key political processes to bring home the importance of decarbonizing the buildings and construction sector to achieve not only the Paris climate goals but also the Sustainable Development Goals and the Vision set out in the New Urban Agenda, and to raise the level of ambition to take action commensurate with the sector’s potential: Responsible for almost 40% of energy- and process-related emissions, the sector also holds solutions that are amongst the most cost-effective climate measures. The needed transformation to decarbonize this sector requires radical cooperation and leadership – participation in the global processes helps to make it our common agenda. Some examples of high-level political processes that GlobalABC is engaged in are:
Conference of the Parties (COP)
GlobalABC has been instrumental in growing the presence of the building and construction sector at COP through the Buildings Pavilion (at COP26 and COP27, respectively), as well as high-level events and days linked to buildings at COPs. At COP27, GlobalABC hosted over 50 events in Buildings Pavilion and sponsored by 16 entities; these are in addition to events with and through members with leaders from throughout the sector globally. Thousands of people attended these events virtually and in-person and there were over one million social media impressions of GlobalABC social media posts during COP.
UNFCCC Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA)
The GlobalABC has been part of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action (MPGCA) since the start. The MPGCA supports the implementation of the Paris Agreement by enabling collaboration between governments and the cities, regions, businesses and investors taking action in climate change. By raising the profile of the buildings and construction sector in this forum, the GlobalABC aims to inspire countries to seek more ambitious targets for reducing emissions in this sector, for instance, including meaningful buildings action in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to enanble local and regional governments to contribute to and exceed these targets, and to facilitate co-creation of policy frameworks with private sector and civil society.
The GlobalABC took the lead of developing the Pathways for Human Settlements, which set out a vision and set of actions. They are expected to guide and drive the implementation phase of the Paris Agreement. The pathway includes the following 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation goals:
- By 2030, the built environment should halve its emissions, whereby 100 per cent of new buildings must be net-zero carbon in operation, with widespread energy efficiency retrofit of existing assets well underway, and embodied carbon must be reduced by at least 40 per cent, with leading projects achieving at least 50 per cent reductions in embodied carbon.
- By 2050, at the latest, all new and existing assets must be net zero across the whole life cycle, including operational and embodied emissions.
2030 Agenda - Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The 2030 Agenda sets out ambitious goals for the achievement of a better and more sustainable future for all. Transforming buildings and the built environment can generate multiple benefits, from climate to resources, to improved quality of life, health, shelter and access to basic services. It involves innovation and training of the workforce.
The GlobalABC brings out the links between the decarbonization of the sector and the other SDGs beyond SDGs 7 (energy) and 13 (climate), and has contributed to High-Level Political Fora by highlighting the important role of buildings and construction as well as tracking progress on related SDGs.
The World Green Building Council has developed an infographic illustrating the linkages between sustainable buildings and the SDGs.
Source: World Green Building Council
New Urban Agenda
The New Urban Agenda (NUA) is the north star for sustainable urban development; it sets out a Vision and Blueprint for sustainable urban development. In a context of ever growing urban population, it is projected that global floor area will double by 2050. Affordability and adequacy, at times of climate crisis and increasing resource scarcities is inextricably linked with the need to climate-proof our buildings. The NUA therefore has numerous references to sustainable buildings and construction, under all three of its transformative commitments (Leaving no one and no place behind in the fight against poverty; urban prosperity and opportunities for all; and ecologically resilient cities and human settlements).
GlobalABC has contributed to several sessions of the World Urban Forum as well as the first UN Habitat Assembly, speaking for the sector and bringing a concise message from governments, organizations, investors, and other key stakeholders on this highly-fragmented value chain: we need to fully decarbonize this sector across the life cycle by 2050.