Chairman and CEO Attend Inaugural Buildings and Climate Global Forum in Paris

We are delighted to share with you the remarkable insights gained at the inaugural Buildings and Climate Global Forum, held in Paris on the 7th and 8th of March, 2024. The event, led by the French Government and UNEP’s Global ABC, brought together governments, organisations, and stakeholders to deliberate on crucial declarations aimed at catalysing ambition and fostering market transformation within the building industry towards decarbonisation and climate resilience. 

Key Highlights:

Declaration of Chaillot: The culmination of the forum was marked by the adoption of the Declaration of Chaillot, a significant step towards enhancing the value chain of the Buildings Sector. This declaration underscores the urgent need for collective action to address the challenges posed by climate change within the built environment. 

Thematic Sessions: The forum hosted thematic sessions focusing on critical topics such as Circular Economy, Policy Development and Harmonisation, and Sufficiency in the context of the built environment. These sessions provided a platform for robust discussions and exchange of ideas, yielding invaluable insights for stakeholders across the sector. 

Insightful Findings: Over 1800 attendees participated in the forum, contributing to a wealth of insightful findings. One striking revelation was the sobering realisation that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are currently off track to achieve the targets set forth in the Paris Agreement, with one-third of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributed to the built environment. 

Opportunities for Transformation: Despite the challenges, the forum emphasised the immense opportunities for positive change. With at least half of the buildings needed by 2050 yet to be constructed, stakeholders have a unique opportunity to shape the future of the built environment. A whole-life cycle approach, focusing on reducing embodied carbon emissions, emerged as a pivotal strategy for achieving decarbonisation goals. 

Key Strategies for Change:

  1. Circularity: Emphasising the renovation of existing buildings, prioritising material reuse, and minimising the extraction of raw materials emerged as a cornerstone for sustainable building practices. 
  2. Ethically Produced Biobased Materials: Investment in research and development for ethically sourced biobased materials, such as timber, bamboo, and hemp, was identified as essential for driving innovation and reducing environmental impact. 
  3. Improving Materials and Processes: Addressing the pervasive use of plastic within the building sector emerged as a critical priority, with speakers highlighting the potential to reduce pollution and improve health by enhancing materials and processes. 

UN Global Status Report: The forum also marked the launch of the 8th edition of the UN Global Status Report on Buildings and Construction. This comprehensive report underscored the urgent need for intensified efforts, as global GHG emissions continue to rise, policy initiatives stagnate, and financial support remains inadequate. 

A Call to Action: The inaugural Buildings and Climate Global Forum heralds a pivotal moment for the building sector, with ministers and key players converging to address the pressing challenges of climate change and sustainability. As we collectively navigate towards a greener, more resilient future, let us heed the lessons learned and seize the opportunities for transformative change within the built environment. 

Stay tuned for more updates and initiatives from the High Performance Building Alliance as we continue our journey towards a sustainable and thriving future. 

 

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