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Peak bodies bring decarbonising message to COP28

A group of 18 peak bodies from the HVAC&R and sustainable construction industries around the world has written an open letter to government representatives attending the COP28 summit in Dubai from November 30 to December 12. The letter urges governments to consider the significant carbon impact of the global building industry and the need to achieve net zero construction by 2050.

Among the signatories to the letter are ASHRAE, the US Green Building Council, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and AIRAH.

“The signatories to this letter are committed to mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the built environment, and moreover recognize that buildings are a vital element in the transition to clean energy,” it reads.

“Buildings are evolving from being consumers of energy to serving as energy storage and generation facilities. Importantly, buildings provide shelter including from severe weather and temperature extremes, which will be increasingly important in the years and decades ahead.

“The undersigned organizations have taken a leadership role in decarbonizing the built environment and we support the government representatives at the COP28. All new and existing buildings must have net zero GHG emissions across their life cycles no later than 2050. We also support that by 2030, all new buildings must be net zero GHG emissions in operation, widespread energy-efficiency retrofits of existing assets must be well underway, and embodied carbon of new construction must be reduced by at least 40 per cent.”

ASHRAE will also represent the global HVAC&R industry at COP28 by participating in an official side event. The event, entitled “Design Thinking, Global Standards, & Integrative Solutions for a Net Zero Built Environment,” will be held on Friday, December 8 from 3:00–4:30pm local time (10-11:30 pm AEDT).

The livestreamed side event will involve a panel discussion focusing on how the building sector must play a leadership role in reducing greenhouse gases. During the event, ASHRAE will highlight resources and standards that can be used in efforts to decarbonise the industry.  

“Decarbonisation of our existing global building stock is one of the greatest challenges in achieving sustained reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” ASHRAE President Ginger Scoggins says.

“ASHRAE’s commitment to developing consensus-based standards and guidance provides an excellent foundation for governments and municipalities to make the transition to a more sustainable future. We are proud to support the goals of COP28 and consider it a privilege to collaborate with like-minded industry partners from around the world on solutions that accelerate our goal for all buildings to operate at net zero by 2050 or sooner.”

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