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GlobalABC events & regional roundtables

Sustainable Buildings for Climate-proof Cities

Radisson Blu Okoumé Palace Hotel, Libreville, Gabon

ACW buildings


Together with UNEP and UNFCCC, the GlobalABC is co-leading a session, entitled Sustainable Buildings for Climate-proof Cities, under Track 1 (Striving for 1.5 Degrees) in the framework of the Africa Climate Week 2022 (ACW 2022). It will take place on 31 August 2022, 10:30 - 12:00 West Africa Time

The World Bank's latest Climate Change Action Plan (2021-2025) identifies city systems as one of the five key systems that generate the most GHG emissions while facing significant adaptation challenges. Particularly, the buildings and construction sector is a heavyweight for climate action, accounting for 37% of energy-related CO2 emissions and 36% of global final energy consumption globally in 2020 (2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction). And yet, half of the buildings standing in 2050 have not been built, with most of this growth happening in rapidly growing cities in Africa and Asia (2017 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction). When it comes to building materials, they represent 10% of global carbon emissions and 28% of the annual buildings-related CO2 emissions(2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction). Global material use is expected to more than double by 2060, with a third of this rise attributable to materials used in the building and construction sector (2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction).

According to UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2020, buildings are one of the six sectors which can collectively cut carbon emissions to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. A common vision for the transformation of the buildings and construction sector has already been shaped in the MPGCA Human Settlements Pathway: by 2030, the built environment should halve its emissions whereby 100% of new buildings must be net-zero carbon in operation; and by 2050, all new and existing assets must be net zero across the whole life cycle, including operational and embodied emissions. The decarbonization of the built environment will not be possible without the shift towards sustainable and resilient building materials.

The session seeks to build a global movement on the transformation of the built environment through a whole-life carbon approach, addressing both embodied and operational carbon. Panelist will discuss what is needed, the challenges and opportunities for the decarbonization of the buildings and construction sector, with a specific focus on the embodied carbon, and the uptake of sustainable and local building materials (e.g. timber, bamboo, hemp, coconut fibers) as part of the solution.

Moderator: Ms. Laura Williamson, Director, Membership and Institutional Partnerships, REN21


  • Mr. Richard Munang, Deputy Regional Director, Africa, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Mr. Rene Kaam, Director, Central Africa Regional Office, International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) 
  • Ms. Elizabeth Chege, Energy Efficiency & Cooling Specialist - Africa, SEforAll; Boardmember, World Green Building Council (WorldGBC); Chair, Africa Regional Network of WorldGBC
  • Mr. Kamal Alawo Adjayi, Mayor of Lomé 
  • Ms. Ibtissem Bouattay (Virtual panelist), Senior Project Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation of Public Projects and Programs (G&PS), Buildings and Construction Sector; Vice president, Tunisia Green Building Council
  • Dr. Andrew Minson, Concrete and Sustainable Construction Director, Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA)

Register for online participation here