The report found in Africa that:
Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN Climate Change High Level Champion for Egypt, COP27:
“The built environment is a critical sector to achieve the needed transition to a resilient and zero emissions future. Buildings are responsible for almost 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions and 50% of all extracted materials.
“In Africa alone, with increasing population growth and rapid unplanned urbanisation, there is mounting demand for buildings. We have an urgent need to meet rapid delivery of resilient homes and buildings, and we need to avoid ‘locking’ emissions in inefficient construction.
“This is an investment opportunity, with bankable projects seeking finance at scale. Reducing emissions through green buildings comes with a $24.7 trillion investment opportunity over the next decade across emerging market cities. From finance to energy to job creation, the built environment can accelerate resilience and climate action across all parts of the economy.”
Why the built environment is a critical sector to achieve the needed transition to a resilient and zero emissions future
Over 37% of global energy related CO2 emissions are generated by the built environment. In 2021, operational CO2 emissions from the buildings sector were 5% higher compared to 2020, and 2% higher than the previous peak in 2019.
Globally, approximately 100 billion tonnes of waste is caused by construction, renovation and demolition, with about 35% sent to landfills. Construction material use, which already accounts for 9% of overall energy-related CO2 emissions, is predicted to double by 2060. Growth in emissions is driven by rapid urbanisation, with about five billion m2 of new floor area space added annually — the equivalent of building the size of Paris once a week.
We see positive progress in some areas. Investments in building energy efficiency rose by 16% in 2021 over 2020 levels, reaching $237 billion USD. In 2021, 158 countries referenced buildings in their Nationally Determined Contributions, up from 135 in 2020, and the number of green building certifications worldwide increased by 19% compared to 2020. This progress is encouraging but we need more, now.
All built environment initiatives announced at COP27
Read the full list of initiatives that are collectively driving deep collaboration and triggering a positive systemic transformation in the built environment.
BuildingToCOP Coalition plans for COP28
COP27 has shown that we have the solutions to create a better built environment and that we can no longer afford in-efficient, unhealthy, high-emitting buildings in transforming the sector and reaching the critical goals of halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2050.
The BuildingToCOP Coalition calls on COP28 to prioritise the built environment as an urgent and critical climate solution. A built environment day at COP28 will keep the pressure on decision makers, continue to rally the sector, and bring the diverse sector together to collaborate and put these solutions into action.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
The #BuildingToCOP27 Coalition is a group of business and government networks focused on sustainability in the built environment — united around shared climate goals for the built environment system, developed through the UNFCCC Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Human Settlements and Resilience Pathway, highlighting the built environment as a critical solution provider to the climate crisis.
C40 is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities who are working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. Through a Global Green New Deal, mayors are working alongside a broad coalition of representatives from labour, business, the youth climate movement and civil society to go further and faster than ever before. The current Chair of C40 is Mayor of London Sadiq Khan; and three-term Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg serves as President of the Board.
Global Alliance for Building and Construction (GlobalABC)
Founded at COP21, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme, and with 256 members, including 37 countries, the GlobalABC is the leading platform for all stakeholders along the buildings and construction sector value chain, including governments, private sector, civil society, research, and intergovernmental organizations, to jointly work towards a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector. The GlobalABC tracks the sector’s annual global climate action progress including through its Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR), advocates for market transformation and focuses on catalysing action by defining a carbon neutrality strategy for the built environment and supports countries in setting priorities and measures based on their situation including by developing policy guidance and global and regional buildings and construction roadmaps.
Resilience Rising is a global consortium of NGOs and initiatives working together to build systemic resilience to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Each consortium organisation represents an essential community of practice, key stakeholders we consider pivotal to the success of transforming the built environment and essential infrastructure. These are: Engineers; Business Innovators; Infrastructure Owners & Operators; Policymakers; Future Leaders; and Investors.
The members of Resilience Rising include:
Resilience Rising is also a Managing Partner of the Resilience Hub at the Conference of Parties.
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
WBCSD is the premier global, CEO-led community of over 200 of the world’s leading sustainable businesses working collectively to accelerate the system transformations needed for a net zero, nature positive, and more equitable future.
We do this by engaging executives and sustainability leaders from business and elsewhere to share practical insights on the obstacles and opportunities we currently face in tackling the integrated climate, nature and inequality sustainability challenge; by co-developing “how-to” CEO-guides from these insights; by providing science-based target guidance including standards and protocols; and by developing tools and platforms to help leading businesses in sustainability drive integrated actions to tackle climate, nature and inequality challenges across sectors and geographical regions.
Our member companies come from all business sectors and all major economies, representing a combined revenue of more than USD $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees. Our global network of almost 70 national business councils gives our members unparalleled reach across the globe. Since 1995, WBCSD has been uniquely positioned to work with member companies along and across value chains to deliver impactful business solutions to the most challenging sustainability issues.
Together, we are the leading voice of business for sustainability, united by our vision of a world in which 9+ billion people are living well, within planetary boundaries, by mid-century.
The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC)
IIGCC is the European membership body for investor collaboration on climate change and the voice of investors taking action for a prosperous, low carbon future. IIGCC has more than 375 members, mainly pension funds and asset managers, across 23 countries, with over €51 trillion in assets under management.
IIGCC works to support and help define the public policies, investment practices and corporate behaviours that address the long-term risks and opportunities associated with climate change. For more information visit www.iigcc.org and @iigccnews
World Green Building Council (WorldGBC)
The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) catalyses the uptake of sustainable built environments for everyone, everywhere.
Transforming the building and construction sector across three strategic areas — climate action, health & wellbeing, and resources & circularity — we are a global action network of over 70 Green Building Councils around the world.
As members of the UN Global Compact, we work with businesses, organisations and governments to drive the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Through a systems change approach, our network is leading the industry towards net zero carbon, healthy, equitable and resilient built environments. Find out more www.worldgbc.org
For further information contact:
Marketing and Communications Manager,
World Green Building Council