Dear Heads of State attending UNFCCC COP28,
As negotiators prepare for COP28, signatories of the World Green Building Council´s (WorldGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings (NZCB) Commitment – a recognised private demand initiative of 175 businesses, cities, countries and regions, representing over US$400 billion in annual turnover who are supporting sector progress towards the 2030 Breakthrough Outcome –, have come together alongside the wider WorldGBC network, representing 75+ Green Building Councils (GBCs) and over 46,000 organisations, to insist all governments uphold their commitment to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C and leverage the built environment as a critical climate solution by joining the Buildings Breakthrough.
This UN Climate Summit – COP28 – must be a turning point to building resilience and limiting global temperature rise. Now is the time to accelerate decarbonisation, embrace higher ambition and align finance. Our sector is in a strong position to deliver meaningful climate action whilst also addressing pressing societal issues. Representing ~13% of global GDP, the deep green transformation of the sector could require less than 0.03% of global GDP and has the potential to lift 2.8 billion people out of energy poverty, reduce carbon emissions by 37% and create US$1.5 trillion dollars of investment opportunities in emerging markets.
However, scaling the sustainable transformation of the built environment requires strong political leadership and a recognition of the potential of our sector in the negotiated outcome.
WorldGBC, the global network of Green Building Councils and their 46,000+ members, the NZCB Commitment signatories, and the High-Level Climate Champions / Race to Zero stand united behind our shared goal to achieve total decarbonisation of the built environment. WorldGBC and the Race to Zero are aligned through our Whole Life Carbon Vision and the 2030 Breakthrough Outcome for the Built Environment that states:
All new projects (new buildings, infrastructure and renovations) completed from 2030 are net zero carbon in operation, with >40% reduction in embodied carbon.
Via the Race to Zero and the NZCB Commitment, stakeholders across our network are already collaborating to accelerate action and drive demand for a systemic transformation of the building and construction sector to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Together, we are building the transition across seven levers of change, with NZCB Commitment signatories recognised as supporting sector progress towards the 2030 Breakthrough Outcome. The work of these leaders – alongside the wider GBC network – is catalysing action towards achieving the Buildings Breakthrough and delivering impact.
Our collective work is already implementing solutions that can be scaled, but only if governments match our ambition through strong policy and regulation that deliver a unified vision for rapid transformation.
As you enter the final stage of negotiations, we urge you to fully address the potential of buildings and be assured of the collective confidence of our network in the solutions we offer. We stand ready and committed to working with governments all over the world to support implementation and keep #BuildingTheTransition together to accelerate a decarbonised, regenerative, resilient, and just future for all.