In coming years, hopefully very significant. This was the first time that the built environment has been recognised as important in any global, United Nation climate change summit.
We now have the recognition that buildings and construction have a major impact and influence on climate changes, being part of the problem but also key to climate change solutions
My thoughts from following inspiring feeds from Paris and elsewhere, through the twitter hashtags of #COP21, #BuildingsDay #BuildBetterGreen #BackClimateAction and others:
I felt ashamed by the approach of our government in weakening and dismantling sustainability strategies for homes and buildings whilst others around the world are deepening their green building strategies
That the built environment players (leaders, companies, advocates, agencies, academics) all need to collaborate to ensure a sub 2 degrees warming path is central to sustainability strategies
Not once did I see BIM mentioned or cited as part of the building environment solution. BIM needs to engage with the leaders and decision makers who are shaping the design, construction and operation of buildings.
Encouraged to hear of net positive approaches, being restorative and regenerative in built environment sustainability approaches. Not only for carbon reduction but for social and health strategies to be ‘net-positive’
Encouragingly there have been many great pledges from GBC members around the world – including the UK.
Whilst major contractors and manufacturers were visible in making commitments or presenting the built environment world of contracting, of SME’s and supply chains right across the sector still needs to engage, and understand that business as usual may not be that usual in the coming year.
Finally – with the built environments impact on climate change, often quoted as 40% of the problem, making the real change to get on a sub 2 degree global warming path may seem impossible. Globally, through design and construction we need to reduce emissions by 84 GtCO2 by 2050 – thats taking over 22.000 coal fired power stations out of service.
Yet impossible is only a challenge – and as Steve Jobs said – its kind of fun to do the impossible.
What Is COP21?
France is chairing and hosting the 21 th Conference of Parties to the Framework UN Convention on Climate Change (COP21 / CMP11) from 30 November to 11 December 2015. This is a crucial conference since it must lead to a new international climate agreement, applicable to all, to keep global warming below 2 ° C.
18 countries (Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America), and over 60 organisations launched an unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to speed up and scale up the sector’s huge potential to reduce its emissions and literally build greater climate resilience into future cities and infrastructure.