Paris 4 December 2015— At the Paris Climate Summit, currently drawing decision-makers, experts and organisations from all over the world, 3 December was officially named ‘Buildings Day’ and for the first time put the building sector at the centre stage of these seminal climate talks.
The highly anticipated event drew building sector stakeholders from research, advocacy, professional associations, IGOs and government to highlight and discuss both the challenges as well as opportunities of a more sustainable building and construction sector globally.
UN-Habitat Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos speaking at a panel discussion on the role of public policies said, “The building sector has a critical role to play in the fight against climate change and it is very important to create consciousness about it."
Other panel discussions and presentations ranged from the role of local authorities to value chain transformation, and outlined pathways to mobilise the financing needed for making a low-emissions building sector a reality.
Buildings, the majority of which are the homes we live in, are a major contributor to environmental degradation. They account for 32% of global energy use and 30% of energy-based GHG emissions, a figure which could reach 50% by 2050.
The event closed with the launch of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, an alliance of organizations collectively committed to ensuring that the global building sector will follow the below 2°C path. The alliance, an initiative by UNEP and the French Ministry of the Environment, and co-signed by UN-Habitat, dozens of governments as well as multiple building sector bodies, will contribute towards the enhancement and facilitation of global collaboration on vitally needed building sector solutions, and will complement the implementation work of the Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme under the umbrella of the 10YFP.