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USGBC Cheers COP27, But Still Urges More Action

Dec. 7, 2022
Even with new COP27 agreements adopted last month, emission reductions, including those of the building and construction industry, still are not on track to reach net zero by 2050.

By DEISY VERDINEZ, U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is calling for greater action to address climate change following COP27. Even with the new COP27 agreements adopted last week, emission reductions, including those of the building and construction sector which accounts for 40% of energy-based carbon emissions, are not on track to reach net zero by 2050.

USGBC reiterated its commitment to accelerating efforts to transition and achieve a healthier future, leveraging all platforms to support the business, government, and finance sectors in decarbonizing the built environment.

“We respect the efforts from many nations to conclude COP27 with the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan,” said Peter Templeton, president & CEO, U.S. Green Building Council. “We applaud the inclusion of funding to help those countries most vulnerable to climate impacts but are distressed that the agreement fails to call for increased ambition and action.”

“It is incumbent upon all actors, including governments and business, to align their actions, investments and operations with net zero goals,” added Templeton. “USGBC is committed to working with the public and private sectors to take collective action to decarbonize at scale, with a focus on buildings and communities.”

Data released throughout the two-week conference point to the continued gap between actual emissions and needed reductions to cap global warming at 1.5°C, highlighting the need for further emission reductions.

USGBC is investing in efforts to accelerate progress towards decarbonization including its recently-announced program to drive green building at scale, which is critical to achieving global goals for sustainability and equity. USGBC has unique experience verifying sustainable new construction practice and existing building performance improvement.

USGBC has highlighted solutions for reducing GHG emissions from the building sector at the annual U.N. climate conference for more than a decade. At COP27, USGBC joined with the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) delegation and sponsored the Buildings Pavilion, in collaboration with global partners and hosts the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC) and the UN Environment Programme. 

Learn more about how LEED tracks with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.