Climate Action in the Buildings Sector: How to Incorporate Buildings Actions in Nationally Determined Contributions
By - Professor Peter Graham, Global Buildings Performance Network firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Director, Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is a historic achievement for humanity and for the Building Sector. We now have a common legally binding agreement to hold global warming well below 2oC with aspiration to achieve 1.5oC integrated with frameworks for action on resilience and adaptation.
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of catching up with one of the hero’s of the V.W. emissions scandal, Drew Kodjak, the Executive Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). His team performed road tests on a small random sample of EU imported cars and found discrepancies. They reported them to State authorities, which ran more tests, found the same discrepancy, and then reported to the U.S. EPA. The process took about 18 months, and well, you probably know the rest of the story.
Have you seen President Obama's speech announcing the U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan?
The Clean Power Plan is a key element of the US’s contribution to climate action and the debate on the global agreement taking shape ahead of COP21 in Paris this December. Beyond the content of the Plan itself, the rhetoric of Obama’s launch speech and the way he communicated the vision and role for his country is important for all leaders as we prepare for COP21.
In the last couple of weeks I was fortunate to have attended two important meetings in Paris convened by separate groups, but each with the same aim of developing actions that could again raise the profile of building energy efficiency and the potential of the sector to contribute significantly to achieving climate change goals. At the same time a different set of stakeholders with the same objectives was meeting in New York. All groups are looking ahead to COP21 in Paris as a potential catalyst for finally mainstreaming sustainable buildings and cities. However, despite common intentions, we risk failing to seize this opportunity due to a lack strategic coordination.