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LETTER: Building Industry Leaders Address COP28

Dec. 8, 2023
ASHRAE, AIA, USGBC among 19 international construction groups urging world leaders to make more climate progress in UAE.

November 27, 2023

Dear Government Representatives that are Parties to the UNFCCC meeting at the COP28:

As you gather in Dubai to advance solutions and secure agreements to tackle the climate crisis, we want to remind you of the importance of the building industry to our global emissions challenge.

The building industry accounts for roughly 40% of global GHGs, and the global building stock is expected to double by 2060. 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.

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%.

The global stocktake scheduled at the COP28 will reveal progress made, and critically will identify where gaps remain. Where those gaps involve the built environment, we commit to identifying solutions and taking action to bridge those gaps. 

Thank you for your concerted engagement at the conference.


AEC Science & Technology, LLC
Architecture 2030
Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
Brazilian Association of Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation (ABRAVA)
EFRIARC – Portuguese Association of Industrial Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers,
Georgian Association of Refrigerating, Cryogenic & Air Conditioning Engineers (GARCAE)
Green Building Initiative (GBI)
International Facility Management Association (IFMA)
International Living Future Institute (ILFI)
Japan Society of Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (JSRAE)
New Buildings Institute (NBI)
Russian Association of Engineers HVAC, Heat Supply & Building Thermal Physics (ABOK)
Swiss Society for Engineers, Energy and Environment (Die Planer – SWKI)
The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The Institute of Refrigeration Heating &Air Conditioning Engineers of New Zealand Inc. (IRHACE Council) 
The Society of Heating, Air-Conditioning and Sanitary Engineers of Japan
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)