With the construction sector responsible for 39% of global emissions, architects, builders, and planners have a common interest in the results of COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The 2023 edition, held in Dubai, seeks to limit the global increase in temperature to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. Currently, it has increased by 1.2 degrees Celsius.
During COP28, important documents such as the Global Stocktake were adopted, which is the first assessment of progress in meeting the climate agenda of the Paris Agreement.
In addition, initiatives are presented to promote climate action in cities, addressing aspects such as buildings, waste, transport, water, and the environment. Notifications include:
1. Development of cement and concrete: Initiative to promote the use of clean cement in world markets, encouraging production with near-zero emissions. Clean cement is destined to be the preferred choice in the construction industry.
2. Improvements in buildings: Make “resilient and close to zero buildings” the new rule for 2030. The goal is to promote the construction of buildings that are able to resist the effects of climate change and have very low carbon emissions. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), in collaboration with Morocco and France, presents the Buildings Breakthrough program with the aim of promoting the adoption of almost zero-emission and climate-resistant buildings.
Currently, 27 countries have committed to the program, representing approximately 51% of global emissions. The initiative is very important because it is estimated that 21% of these greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings. The first Global Buildings and Climate Forum will take place in Paris in March, where they will continue to discuss and promote solutions to address climate change in the construction sector.
3. Development of environment-positive infrastructure: emphasizing the important role played by the construction sector in the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems. It is based on the world’s leading infrastructure projects and offers professionals a wide range of nature-based solutions.
Also announced is the development of a tool to track and measure methane emissions from waste. It will be implemented in 20 global megacities, which will allow better control and monitoring for the reduction of greenhouse gases.