Since the monumental COP21 Paris Agreement, countries have been left to figure out how they are going to meet the goal of keeping global warming to within 2 (and even 1.5) degrees Celsius
Progress towards this goal and the other main objective of every single building producing zero carbon emissions by 2050 was made on Thursday when Green Building Councils in 10 countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States) introduced net zero carbon certification or designation programs in their individual countries at the COP22 conference.
Most notably, the Green Building Council of Australia, Canada Green Building Council, the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), India Green Building Council and the U.S. Green Building Council all announced their intention to introduce programs that recognize and reward net zero carbon buildings, with some announcing target dates by which they will introduce them. These initiatives could be either stand-alone net zero certification programs, or a net zero designation within existing certification programs.
The announcements mark significant progress to Advancing Net Zero, WorldGBC’s groundbreaking project to ensure that all buildings — both new and existing — are net zero carbon emissions by 2050 (meaning they produce no emissions at all by the middle of the century).
Buildings are currently responsible for over 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but have the potential to harness the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions though energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, according to WorldGBC.
To access the details on each country’s commitments, please view the WorldGBC announcement.