The green building industry today launches a campaign on World Green Building Day (September 23) urging governments to recognise the importance of carbon savings from buildings in the Copenhagen climate change negotiations. The call comes as world leaders gather in New York to discuss climate change.
In one of a series of synchronised events around the world, industry representatives will join the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) at a House of Commons reception to launch the Call to Action, which urges radical action on carbon emissions from buildings.
Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK-GBC and Chair of the World Green Building Council Policy Task Force said: "Today, Green Building Councils and their members around the world are speaking with one voice and calling for buildings to get the profile they deserve in the climate change talks.
There is no bigger, more cost-effective option for achieving the global cuts in carbon emissions than our buildings over the next few years.
"The Kyoto Treaty rightly acknowledges the role that deforestation, transport and energy generation play in contributing to climate change. However, buildings have been poor relations up to now. Inclusion of buildings within the Copenhagen Agreement would encourage the setting of ambitious targets for carbon reductions for the building sector and create the framework within which industry is incentivised to make those dramatic cuts.
"In the UK, Government has taken a welcome lead on setting targets for zero carbon new buildings, but we need to see a bigger effort to cut emissions from our existing stock, the vast majority of which will still be standing in 2050."
The UK call is part of a global campaign, co-ordinated by the United Nations Environment Program - Sustainable Building & Climate Initiative (UNEP-SBCI) which promotes the worldwide adoption of sustainable building practices.
Energy efficient buildings can currently qualify for carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism, but there has been very little take up under this scheme. The Call to Action proposes the development of a framework for inclusion in the post-2012 agreement that requires the monitoring, reporting and verifying of emissions reductions from buildings.