Supporting the “zero-carbon buildings for all” initiative

Leader in sustainable buildings, cities and engineering solutions, Buro Happold joins developing and industrialized countries and wide coalition committed to decarbonizing the building sector for massive CO2 reductions

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 – Buro Happold, the sustainability leader and growing global practice creating solutions for buildings, campuses and cities, has announced its participation in an international program to make all buildings net-zero-carbon by 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The drive for execution of more efficient buildings and renewable energy supply, called Zero Carbon Buildings for All, is a multiple-partner global initiative endorsed by the UN Secretary General and featured at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in New York City this week.

One of the key private-sector leaders offering technical expertise for Zero Carbon Buildings for All, Buro Happold was cited in the group’s press materials as a “world-class building design firm” along with architects and building technology manufacturers.

Zero Carbon Buildings for All will leverage the leadership of government, industry and civil society to both secure commitments to ambitious targets (national policy roadmaps to decarbonize new buildings by 2030 and existing buildings by 2050) and mobilize significant funding (at least $1 trillion in Paris Agreement-compliant buildings investment in developing countries by 2030),” according to the group’s release.

National governments announcing their commitment to Zero Carbon Buildings for All include an impressive cross-section of developing and industrialized countries, including Kenya, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

Zero Carbon Buildings for All is exactly the kind of bold and forward-thinking initiative the international building community needs to address climate change, and we’re proud to support this mission. Since Buro Happold’s inception, protecting and enhancing the environment for future generations has been at the core of our work and ethos, and we believe there is tremendous opportunity to develop coherent net zero carbon strategies that meet sustainability objectives while creating comfortable, productive, and effective environments that enhance people’s lives.”

Mike Seyle, President of Buro Happold U.S.

About Zero Carbon Buildings for All

According to the program organizers, “Buildings operations account for 28% of energy-related CO2 emissions, making them among the largest contributors to climate change. The good news is that improving buildings is also one of the most proven, cost-effective climate mitigation solutions available. Improved buildings often feature the latest in architectural design and enhance the quality of life, health and productivity of people living and working in them.”

An analysis found that if Zero Carbon Buildings for All were to succeed in just 10 economically and politically diverse countries, avoided emissions by 2030 would be 432 million tons CO2e annually – equivalent to 5% of today’s global energy-related emissions.

This joint initiative represents a step change in the ambition of policymakers, advocates and the private sector, and will unite leaders across sectors in a strong international coalition to decarbonize the building sector and meet climate goals.

Financial institution supporters include African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Denmark), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, and others. Organizational partners include the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, Global Environment Facility, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Program for Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Urban Land Institute, World Economic Forum, World Green Building Council, World Resources Institute, and others.

These commitments join those galvanized by complementary efforts like the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings commitment and the Global Alliance for Building and Construction’s Global Call.

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