Cristina Gamboa on how decarbonsing the built environment can help to meet global emission targets
Ahead of the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2020 taking place across 5 days from the 16-20 November, we caught up with Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council, to discuss how decarbonsing the built environment can help meet global emission targets.
Ahead of the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2020 taking place across 5 days from the 16-20 November, we caught up with Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council, to discuss how decarbonsing the built environment can help reach global emission targets.
2020 was meant to usher a decade of action on climate change but we have been fighting a different challenge, COVID-19. How has this impacted climate ambition and momentum, especially as COP26 has been postponed to November 2021?
COVID-19 is a pressing and immediate issue that has rightly taken up a lot of the global capacity. However, it has also reminded us of the importance of human health, and the role the built environment has to play within it.
WorldGBC has just launched the Health and Wellbeing Framework, a high-level educational resource, structured across six core principles for health and wellbeing in the built environment. Convening expertise across the built environment, health and human rights, the Framework is published as an executive report and live digital tool — with the aim to redefine the scope of health for all people and their buildings, cities and communities.
Within the framework, we outline that in order to achieve better health and wellbeing, a net zero built environment and buildings must play a role in the overall solution.
Nevertheless, climate ambition and momentum continues to increase. WorldGBC has celebrated continued growth in signatories to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and participation in the Race to Zero.
To meet 2030 targets, any decision, investments and industry we support will ultimately decide the future we rebuild. Will they keep us on track for 2030 targets and the Paris Agreement?
In regards to the built environment, we would encourage all businesses, organisations, cities, states and regions to become a signatory of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and commit themselves to only owning, occupying and developing net zero carbon operational assets by 2030.
Decarbonising the built environment offers a clear way to tackle around 39% of global carbon emissions whilst creating jobs and building a healthier and more resilient future.
We also need national governments to step up and ensure their NDC’s are updated and extended at COP26. One way we are working on this is through national decarbonisation roadmaps with several national GBCs working alongside national governments.
With just 12 months to COP26, what must be done, what key actions must we see and what would you demand from businesses and governments ahead of these crunch negotiations?
WorldGBC and the wider GBC network are focused on mobilising policy makers to implement the regulatory changes that will ensure net zero becomes the norm.
In September we released our new bold strategy Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere and celebrated our biggest and most engaged World Green Building Week yet which called on the building sector, policymakers and governments to take urgent action to deliver net zero buildings through bolder regulation.
Businesses, organisations and sub-national governments can take action to decarbonise their own portfolios and advocate for wider emissions reductions by signing the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. All levels of government can step up their policy ambitions towards the 2030 and 2050 net zero goals, and their obligations under the Paris Agreement.
We will be taking forward the key messages of the WGBW campaign into next year as we continue ‘Building to COP 26’’. WorldGBC will continue to participate in key events such as the Race To Zero Dialogues and ensure that buildings are at the forefront of solutions in tackling the ongoing climate crisis.