27th April 2017

Green buildings coalition means business

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The coalition – made up of cities, public authorities, property developers, manufacturers, energy utilities, trade associations, NGOs and universities – is backing the need for ambitious ‘national renovation strategies’ on transforming existing buildings.

The World Green Building Council (WGBC) is leading the organisations which are pushing for EU member states to publish updated strategies to renovate their buildings – which currently account for around 36 per cent of Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

This is in line with meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement which set out a global action plan to strengthen the world’s response to the threat of climate change.

Governments agreed on a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The coalition’s actions follow the conclusion of BUILD UPON, an EU Horizon 2020 funded project, in which 13 Green Building Councils in Europe are helping national governments create strong strategies for their countries to unlock the energy saving potential in their buildings.

The recommendations are published today by the World Green Building Council (the coordinating organisation behind BUILD UPON). The publications set out actions for existing buildings that will meet the Paris Agreement and were developed by the Green Building Councils involving nearly 2,000 key organisations at 100 events across Europe.

James Drinkwater, European Regional Director of the World Green Building Council, said: “Europe is at a cross roads in terms of its energy policy, with decision-makers unwilling to commit to a clear vision for one of Europe’s most pressing climate challenges – its buildings. But this intervention is proof that a large number of businesses and organisations are committed to ambitious plans on building renovation.

“Our Green Building Councils in Europe have been leading this charge by helping their national governments to develop strong action plans to transform buildings across Europe.”