Thursday at the United Nations (U.N.) Climate Change Conference’s first ever “Buildings Day,” more than 60 international organizations and 18 countries and territories announced a partnership aimed at mobilizing international resources for developing climate-resilient solutions for member cities, regions, and countries, and for scaling up current initiatives to tackle climate change in the built environment. The newly-formed Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC)'s plans align with global efforts to limit the average atmospheric temperature to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels.
GABC's partners, which will actively engage in the alliance's governance, include countries, local governments, intergovernmental institutions, large professional networks, and international associations. The participating countries and territories are: Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Its initial organizations include Architecture 2030, the International Union of Architects, the World Green Building Council, the World Resources Institute, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Many partners have existing initiatives that they wish to scale up. For example, Architecture 2030 operates the 2030 Challenge, a program that encourages architecture firms to design new buildings, developments, and major renovations that reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The organization plans to implement net-zero design professional training programs in the U.S., China, and South Korea in 2016, adding other countries as partnerships are formed, and expand its private–public partnerships in designated urban areas committed to reducing energy consumption.
Additional GABC participants include its membership, which is comprised of shareholders such as companies, national associations, and local professional networks. Members differ from partners in that they are expected to participate in specific initiatives and share their knowledge resources.
GABC plans to organize future Buildings Days to present progress reports at subsequent annual U.N. climate change conferences.