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GlobalABC events & regional roundtables

UNEA-6 - The Urban Environment: Cooling Cities and Buildings

Nairobi, Kenya

Organized by: UNEP Cities Unit in cooperation with UNEP-led Cool CoalitionGlobal Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) and Generation Restoration


Cities are experiencing extreme temperature increases at twice the global average rate due to the climate change exacerbated by the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE). Over 800 million urban residents globally are at high risk of adverse health effects, some of losing their lives due to a lack of access to sustainable solutions to keep buildings and neighbourhoods cool and adequate for living. Ensuring cool indoor and outdoor environment is therefore indispensable to healthy urban life. However, high and increasing energy consumption for space cooling leads to higher GHG emissions. To address this, passive cooling - a practice of using non-mechanical technology, design elements, and nature-based solutions to keep buildings and cities cool without using energy - is a fundamental solution.

This event will discuss challenges and opportunities to address UHIE and adopt passive cooling solutions for building projects in cities from the policy, financial and technological perspectives drawing on best practices. Participants will have the opportunity to share perspectives on how to address sustainable cooling and thermal comfort in buildings and cities in an energy-efficient, resilient, and affordable way. 

The event will also discuss subnational actions for implementing passive solutions in support of the Global Cooling Pledge and the Buildings Breakthrough target: “making near-zero emissions and resilient buildings the new normal by 2030”.  

Key Themes: 

  • Global and Regional Perspectives: Share best practices and perspectives on how cities are acting on sustainable cooling at the building level and in urban planning and design.
  • Economic and Policy Frameworks: Including by improving building codes, regulations, and building design to incorporate passive cooling measures and fostering the power of nature for cooling.
  • Innovation and Technology: Exploring advancements in building materials, energy efficiency, and sustainable design for sustainable cooling
  • Community Engagement and Equity in Urban Planning: Understanding the role of community participation and equity in shaping resilient urban landscapes.
Building operations
Clean Energy
Embodied carbon
Existing buildings
New buildings
Urban planning