The building sector is on the cusp of helping change the course of the planet. Despite the seemingly grim news out of Glasgow, there's been an entire mindset shift and when that happens, you know big changes are in the air.
Though the U.N. Climate Change Conference left much to be desired, it did reveal opportunities for the design and planning community, writes Architecture 2030 delegate and 2018 AIA president Carl Elefante.
"The building sector is on the cusp of helping change the course of the planet. Despite the seemingly grim news out of Glasgow, there's been an entire mindset shift and when that happens, you know big changes are in the air."
In February UN Secretary-General António Guterres boldly declared 2021 the “make or break year” for the planet as a recent UNFCCC report found the 2030 emissions-reduction pledges of 75 countries to be wholly inadequate to achieve 1.5°C targets.
The Significance of COP26
In order to retain a good probability (67% chance or better) of avoiding more than 1.5ºC of warming (a budget of 340-400 GTCO2), we must reduce carbon emissions from all sectors, including the built environment, by 50%-65% by 2030, and zero CO2 emissions by 2040.
Government and business leaders from around the world will be converging at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow Oct. 31 – Nov. 12 to discuss the continued cooperation among nations to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and the threat of climate change, and establish new 2030 emissions reduction targets.
In 2015 Architecture 2030 led in highlighting the critical role of the built environment at COP21. This November, we will be back at COP26 where we will continue to the emphasize for all assembled governments and NGOs how crucial the built environment will be in achieving 1.5°C targets, and remind them that the time for bold moves is right now, while we still have a chance to cut emissions and stay within the 1.5°C carbon budget.
Architecture 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the built environment from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central solution to the climate crisis.