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Americas Green Building Councils scale up green building transformation in cities


Earlier this month in Costa Rica, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Americas Regional Network (ARN) held the inaugural Regional Workshop 2019: Building Energy Efficiency and Net Zero Roadmaps for Cities.

The workshop brought together agents of change willing to transform cities, policies and citizen culture to ensure a sustainable, resilient future built environment that promotes a higher quality of life and improved health and wellbeing for all inhabitants.

The workshop was the first of its kind for the Cities Climate Action Project, a partnership between P4G and WorldGBC which focuses on equipping Green Building Councils (GBCs) to deliver transformational change in building efficiency city policies and action. One of the ways that GBCs are currently doing this is within the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) partnership. The power of this partnership is that it creates a replicable framework through which the public, private and NGO sectors can collaborate to deliver energy efficiency in buildings at scale.

Thanks to the scale-up support from P4G, the WorldGBC Americas Regional Network will be able to build on the successes of the BEA in countries such as Colombia and Mexico; as well as collaborating to gear up new cities in countries such as Chile, Argentina, Peru, Panama, Brazil, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador.

In the last six months, five new cities and states have joined the BEA thanks to the support and efforts of our GBCs: Belen, Costa Rica, State of Campeche, Mexico, Cali and Monteria, Colombia and Guatemala City, Guatemala.

The Costa Rica workshop was met with great interest and active participation in the development of these regional initiatives. WorldGBC hopes it will be the first of many meetings of this kind to promote the collaborative spaces of the region. On this occasion, we had representation from more than 10 cities/states in Latin America, including:

  • Colombia: Bogota
  • Costa Rica: Municipality of Belén, Moravia, Curridabat, and Desamparados
  • El Salvador: San Salvador and Apopa
  • Honduras: Comayagua
  • Mexico: State of Campeche, Sonora, Mérida, and Yucatán
  • Guatemala: Guatemala City

10 Green Building Councils from the Americas region participated in the workshop, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. We had the pleasure of having our founding regional partner, Johnson Controls, whom we thank for their constant support to the efforts of the region, and allies of the BEA program, the World Resources Institute Global and Mexico and C40 Cities, who also shared information and presentations, essential for the development of the agenda.


The agenda covered three modules followed by breakout sessions leading to actions that cities could take with them to implement in their local context.

  • Voluntary energy efficiency programs: Local government leadership and active private sector participation in demonstration projects and energy efficiency strategies in real estate portfolios
  • Mandatory policies and codes for sustainable construction: Success stories from BEA cities in Mexico and Colombia
  • Strategies and roadmaps for net zero carbon buildings: The road to net zero carbon buildings through public policies, multisectoral commitments and Climate Action Plans for cities.

And finally, we wish to ​thank you our local host GBC Costa Rica for their support.