World Green Building Council Forum to Help Keep a 1.5°C Scenario Within Reach

29 June 2022 by Jonathan Goldsmith
blog author

Leaders in the building and construction sector joined forces at London Climate Action Week yesterday to engage in a purposeful event to help devise and deliver solutions necessary to combat the climate crisis, in the wake of COP26.

The WorldGBC+20: Global Solutions Forum for Accelerating Decarbonised and Sustainable Built Environments, took place yesterday in the capital to mark the 20th anniversary of World Green Building Council. It discussed challenges in order to accelerate a decarbonised and sustainable built environment that will benefit everyone.

The Global Solutions Forum was open to the wider sustainable built environment community, uniting progressive leaders and guests from across the WorldGBC network to continue to strengthen and develop a strategy for Sustainable Buildings for Everyone, Everywhere.

Featured speakers included Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council and the internationally recognised environmental lawyer, climate change and development policy expert Farhana Yamin, who opened the event.

Ms Yamin has spent the past three decades advising leaders and ministers on climate negotiations and has attended almost every major climate summit since 1991.

Having been deputy chair of the Expert Group of Advisors to the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Ms Yamin played a vital role in the Paris climate agreement by including the net zero emissions goal by 2050 into the agreement.

Climate action that puts people first is top of the agenda, from health and equity to tackling embodied carbon (greenhouse gases – or GHGs– predominantly caused by the construction industry through manufacturing, installations, maintenance and transportation of building materials).

WorldGBC’s network of experts covers more than 70 countries and attendees will see how solutions under five themes can help accelerate sustainability in the built environment while adhering to the 1.5°C scenario.

The five themes were:

1. Urban Resilience Strategies: Collaborations for Climate and Social Justice
2. Enabling the Circular Economy for Social Prosperity
3. Mainstreaming Whole Life Carbon: Plugging the Data Gaps
4. Financing the Built Environment's Deep Green Transformation
5. Energy Efficiency: The Golden Rule for Net Zero in the Built Environment

Nigel Topping, who was appointed High-Level Climate Champion of the UK for UN climate talks at COP26, said: "Sustainable built environments are critical to achieving our 2030 climate goals.

“The WorldGBC+20: Global Solutions Forum is an opportunity for leaders across the building and construction sector to take stock and collaborate to keep a 1.5°C future within reach."

Jonathan Goldsmith, Head of Infrastructure & Transportation – UK at Acre, was at yesterday’s WorldGBC+20 event to upskill and connect with fellow changemakers to understand the new solutions that will be unveiled.

He said: “My expectations for today were far surpassed. Having Farhana Yamin kick off the event really set the tone for what continued to be an insightful, solutions-focused day. A particular highlight for me was Chris Trott, May Al-Karooni and Martijn Lopes Cardozo’s panel on the need to implement circular economy initiatives in the built environment.

As Martijn put it, ‘if we’re going to double circularity, we need the built environment. It’s the biggest lever we have.’ Looking forward to seeing what’s to come from this space this year.”

Johnny leads Acre’s work within the built environment, with a particular focus on placing senior-level HSE and Sustainability professionals into progressive businesses. Johnny joined Acre in 2015 as a Research Consultant and after continued success identifying and placing challenging roles has since progressed into a Senior Consultant, then Manager. During his time at Acre Johnny has been responsible for placing numerous quality individuals into FTSE 250 organisations with an honest and transparent approach to the industry.