Buildings Renovation at the heart of COP27

After Berlin, Kyoto, Stockholm, Rio, Bali, Paris, Katowice and the last one in Glasgow, in 2022 COP27 arrived in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Countries came together to act towards achieving the world's collective climate goals as agreed under the Paris Agreement. The conference occurred from 6-20 November 2022 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and more than 200 nations attended. The UN Climate Change Conferences are among the most important international meetings in the world. Negotiations between governments are complex and involve officials from all countries and representatives of civil society and the media. At COP27, governments discussed taking concrete action, combating the climate crisis, and setting ambitious targets, especially in the field of renewable energies.

The importance of the built environment was one of the critical themes of COP27.

Operational emissions from the built environment increased by 5% last year compared to 2020. Construction, renovation, and demolition generate about 100 billion tons of waste worldwide. By 2060, it is expected that the use of construction materials, which already contribute 9% of all energy-related CO2 emissions, will have doubled. The building sector has always had a significant impact on the climate crisis; building and maintenance activities are responsible for about 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

To address these crucial issues, The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), hosted several conferences and eventsThe initiative #BuildingToCOP27 aims to elevate the built environment’s role as a critical climate solution in the context of the UN climate negotiations. e-SAFE is very interested in the building sector initiatives that have been announced.

The initiatives are divided into the following themes:

  • Resilience
  • Decarbonization
  • Finance
  • Marking an opportunity for Africa

Let’s dig in!

1. Resilience

  • Buildings Breakthrough: COP27 reconfirmed the Breakthrough Agenda, and the goal of Near zero emissions and resilient buildings are the new normal by 2030
  • WorldGBC Guide to Climate Resilience and Adaptation in the Built Environment: launched at COP27, the guide provided actionable principles for implementing climate resilience and adaptation strategies across the built environment value chain.
  • Roof Over Our Heads: launched at COP27, the initiative aims to improve the lives of 2 billion climate-vulnerable people living in informal settlements by 2050.
  • Cities Race to Resilience: signatories have increased since 2021, and cities have shown motivation in committing to clear, evidence-based climate actions for accelerating adaptation and resilience.
  • Summary for Urban Policy Makers: unveiled at COP27, transforms the IPCC's AR6 report into practical policy guidelines for city and urban policymakers to help decarbonise and strengthen urban environments.

2. Decarbonisation

  • C40 Cities Clean Construction: cities are accelerators to cut emissions and pollution from the construction sector.
  • Business of Climate Recovery: an agenda released by WBCSD, which sets out interventions for accelerating the global decarbonisation of business;
  • The Race to Zero continues: Race to Zero members have positively increased;
  • 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction: annual snapshot on the progress of the buildings and construction sector globally, which points out that the sector is not on track to achieve decarbonisation by 2050 despite a substantial increase in investment and the number of countries, including buildings as part of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs);
  • 2030 Built Environment Breakthrough Outcome: a series of short-term actions across all levers, from supply to demand to policy implementation, required for systems change;

3. Finance

Paris Aligned Asset Owners and Asset Managers in the Race to Zero are two initiatives focused on using asset owners to turn net zero commitments into action and the steps to reach their net zero goals.

4. Making an opportunity for Africa

Africa Manifesto for Sustainable Cities and the Built Environment and African Alliance for Sustainable Cities and Built Environments are two initiatives supporting the ‘Africa We Want’.

COP27 has demonstrated that we can improve the built environment, which is encouraging, but we need more now!

e-SAFE strongly agrees with BuildingToCOP’s final remarks. The built environment is critical to the transition to a resilient and zero-emissions future. To do so, we must transform the building sector and achieve the crucial targets of halving emissions by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050, as we can no longer afford inefficient, unhealthy, high-emitting buildings. This mission is in line with the e-SAFE view. We offer innovative and combinable technological solutions for energy and seismic renovation, and we also aim to transform the EU (European Union) building renovation market to contribute to the EU targets for 2030 and 2050.

We look forward to COP28 and pressure the conference to prioritise the built environment as an urgent and critical climate solution.

The  e-SAFE team is constantly working to develop affordable renovations solutions to reduce the negative impact of the building sectors.  e-SAFE believe that role the built environment can play as a critical climate solution. Which is why, raising awareness at COP28 will help to put pressure on decision makers, continue to rally the sector, and bring the diverse sector together to collaborate and put these solutions into action.

Read more about the initiatives here

Read the full press release here

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