Architecture must quickly kick its carbon habit and minimize the threat of climate change. The profession has already made great progress toward eliminating CO2 emissions from new buildings’ operations. But energy efficiency is just the first step. The next is to shift to renewables and eliminate emissions from building materials, also known as embodied carbon.

AIA is making climate change a major priority for the foreseeable future, and will shortly be sharing a draft action plan for member feedback. As new AIA president Jane Frederick, FAIA, writes in her first letter to members, “Architects have the specialized skills and perspective to help solve this unique challenge.” What’s more, the decarbonization process offers architects an epochal opportunity to reinvent how and what they design.

This special issue of ARCHITECT, edited in partnership with the nonprofit Architecture 2030 and its founder and CEO, Edward Mazria, FAIA, is meant to help architects get CO2 out of their systems, for the health, safety, and welfare of us all.