In an effort to reduce emissions from the building sector, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is launching net zero building certification and training.
Net zero building generate clean energy and produce no net emissions.
Constructed objects account for 25 percent to 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. At last December’s COP21 in Paris, WorldGBC and its 74 green building councils with their 27,000 member companies committed to reduce CO2 emissions from the buildings sector by 84 gigatonnes by 2050, through net zero buildings and renovations.
The project, which has a goal that 100 percent of buildings be net zero by 2050, will initially involve green building councils in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Netherlands, South Africa and Sweden. Architecture 2030, a nonprofit that works to reduce emissions from buildings, is partnering with WorldGBC on the initiative.
“The success of our ambitions to keep global warming to within 1.5 to 2 degrees will depend on our ability to advance net zero buildings,” said Terri Wills, CEO of WorldGBC, in a statement. “Net zero buildings will be a defining contribution in our efforts to tackle climate change.”
Participating green building councils will develop action plans, with an aim to launch a national net zero certification — this could be a standalone program or added to existing certification tools — as soon as possible. Alongside these certifications, each participating GBC will create specific net zero training for green building professionals, and support the development of net zero demonstration projects within their own countries.
Long-term targets include:
- All new buildings and major renovations should be net zero starting in 2030, meaning no buildings should be built below net zero standards beyond 2030. One hundred percent of buildings should be net zero by 2050.
- 75,000 professionals trained on net zero building by 2030, and 300,000 by 2050.
- All green building councils that operate certification programs will have a net zero tool in place by 2030.
WorldGBC says although the project will initially focus on certification and training, it hopes it will also encourage business and governments to adopt ambitious targets on net zero buildings.