Built environment urged to help summit meet climate change commitments

Built environment urged to help summit meet climate change commitmentsDelegates from across the World are gathering in Morocco this week for the 22nd global climate change summit, known as the Conference of the Parties (COP22), where they will focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This historic agreement was reached last December at COP21 in Paris, France, when for the first time, 191 nations committed to collectively addressing the effects of climate change. The Paris Agreement aims to keep the global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius and to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It was signed by all negotiating countries and has thus far been ratified by 75 member states. However, despite the fact that the agreement entered into international law on the 4th November, the UK is yet to ratify it, which according to the UK-GBC’s Campaigns and Policy Director, John Alker, is “pretty poor. We cannot afford to be dragging our heels on this; not only is there a moral imperative to tackle climate change, but the economic case for action is huge.“

He added: “Buildings currently account for almost one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore vital that the challenges we face in this area are recognised, and I hope that the second ‘Buildings Day’ will aid in bringing this issue to the attention of politicians and influencers from across the globe.

RICS says it is continuing to push for the built environment sector to lead in achieving its global climate change commitments as a founding partner in the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC), which is a coalition of over 90 countries and non-state actors aiming to work towards a low carbon and resilient building sector.

“Paris was historic in delivering a global agreement that saw developed countries who are among the biggest carbon emitters, and developing countries, who largely suffer the consequences of these emissions,  come together to agree that urgent action is needed to curb the effects of climate change”, said Sean Tompkins, RICS Chief Executive Officer.

“Now, one year on in Marrakech, RICS will once again join our global partners and look to consolidate and coordinate our efforts in pursuit of the commitments we all agreed to at COP21.”

Within the GABC, RICS is co-leading a working group with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to investigate how more systematic data collection, consistency and accountabilitycan drive better policymaking and higher levels of energy efficiency investments in buildings.

RICS says it is encouraging stakeholders across the built environment to support its COP22 efforts by participating in a data capture survey calls on the whole built environment value chain – such as built environment professionals, policymakers, financing institutions, investors as well as building owners and tenants – to provide insights on the type of data they are currently collect, for what purpose, and the specific challenges they are facing regarding more systematic data capture and management.

RICS is also working with other professional bodies on international standards that can provide comparable data on property size through International Property Measurement Standards (IPMS) and also through International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) to calculate aspects of construction costs. These are vital tools that can provide credible data that will lead to more informed decision-making at policy and investment levels.

Click on the link to access the GABC’s Data Capture and Management Survey

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