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The buildings and construction sector can contribute towards achieving climate goals and limit global warming to below 2°C

The Building and Construction Authority is representing Singapore in the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction which was launched at the inaugural ‘Buildings Day’ at the United Nations climate change summit in Paris. The Alliance involves the participation of governments, major building and construction stakeholders and potential funders, to help the buildings and construction sector achieve the climate goals and common objective of limiting global warming to below 2°C.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the buildings and construction sector is responsible for 30% of global CO2 emissions. This figure is growing rapidly and could reach 50% of CO2 emissions by 2050. This rise in emissions will increase the risks and vulnerability of countries, regions and local communities to the impacts of climate change.

Limiting global warming to below 2°C requires reducing the building sector’s energy consumption by at least 30% through means of mainstreaming highly energyefficient new buildings and a deep renovation of the existing stock of buildings by 2050, said the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Alliance will facilitate the mobilisation of international resources for efficient local operational solutions, align existing initiatives, commitments and programmes to achieve greater scale, and catalyse greater pace and impact of climate action in the buildings and construction sector.

Initiating partners and members of the Alliance including BCA, will participate through regular engagements and sharing sessions, making climate actions visible and reporting on their progress, developing common and appropriate climate goals and promoting transparent measurement protocols. They will also lead or contribute to key climate change mitigation opportunities through initiatives such as net zero energy buildings, sustainable housing and tropical architecture solutions.

In addition, members of the Alliance will collectively address the major challenges in the following areas:

  • public strategies and policies on building efficiency;
  • transformation of the entire buildings value chain; and
  • the financing options available to accelerate investment and funding for greenhouse gas mitigation projects and programmes for the building and construction sector.

“The activities of the Alliance have potential synergy with our collaboration with the UNEP in the BCA Centre for Sustainable Buildings (CSB) and the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Development for the Building Sector in Asia. Our annual International Green Building Conference (IGBC) also attracts a wide audience and can serve to enhance communication and facilitate greater action to reduce the building sector’s impact through this global platform. As a part of a worldwide alliance among key stakeholders in the building sector, we will leverage on existing BCA initiatives to contribute towards the “below 2°C path” and facilitate the objectives of this Alliance,” said Dr John Keung, CEO of BCA.

The BCA CSB has been promoting sustainability in the building sector in Southeast Asia through identification of successful policies, strategies and technologies at the regional and national levels. It is also working with UNEP through the NAMA project to support countries in Asia to develop national plans and frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their building sectors.

Mr Ang Kian Seng, BCA’s Group Director of Technology Development represented BCA Singapore in the formal launch of the Alliance and participated in the panel discussion on Government Leadership in Policy and Strategies at the Buildings Day, where he shared Singapore’s experience and approach towards green building development.

In support of the COP21, the World Green Green Building Council and green building councils worldwide, including the Singapore Green Building Council (SGBC), have also embarked on a new campaign: #BetterBuildGreen. The campaign highlights the key role of green buildings in reducing emissions and their economic and social benefits. SGBC has pledged a number of commitments to drive this initiative and change.

“It is imperative for us to start building green today, as it is the key to the liveability of the environment for the generation of tomorrow,” said Mr Chia Ngiang Hong, President of SGBC, “Green buildings present a powerful opportunity to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The industry already has many tried and tested solutions to improve energy efficiency and reduce our environment footprint. We stand ready to work with all stakeholders to drive change that will make a difference for our collective future.”

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