Partner (to WorldGBC):
Advancing Net Zero is a new project from WorldGBC which aims to ensure that all buildings are “net zero” by 2050.
The project will see participating Green Building Councils launch national net zero certifications in their own countries - either stand alone programmes or additions to existing certification tools.
Each participating GBC will also create specific net zero training for green building professionals and support the development of net zero demonstration projects in their countries.
Eight GBCs - Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Netherlands, South Africa, and Sweden - will initially take part in the project. Architecture 2030 will be Lead Partner to WorldGBC,
The project is significant as it converts into action the COP21 commitment from WorldGBC and its 74 Green Building Councils with their 27,000 member companies to reduce CO2 emissions from the buildings sector by 84 gigatonnes by 2050, through net zero buildings and deep renovation, made last December in Paris.
Globally, buildings and construction are responsible for over 30 per cent of CO2 emissions. Estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggest emissions from the sector will contribute to 6 degrees of global warming if we continue with business-as-usual. And so widespread net zero buildings are therefore key if the sector is to reduce this 84 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions, and keep global warming to within 2 degrees.
Advancing Net Zero includes the following long-term targets:
The project will initially focus on certification and training, but it is hoped that it will also encourage business and governments to adopt ambitious targets on net zero buildings.
Launching the event in June 2016, Terri Wills, CEO of WorldGBC, said: “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 - those which generate clean energy and produce no net emissions. Net zero buildings will be a defining contribution in our efforts to tackle climate change.
“Getting down to zero won’t be easy. This will be a long and challenging road but together with the dedication and expertise of our Green Building Councils and partners, we can create a thriving market for highly efficient buildings and make net zero the new normal.”
What are net zero buildings?
Net zero buildings are either “net zero energy” or “net zero carbon”. Net zero energy buildings are highly efficient buildings which consume net zero energy (on an annual basis), meaning all the energy needed to power the building is generated through on-site renewable energy. Net zero carbon buildings are buildings which produce net zero carbon emissions (on an annual basis). The definition of zero carbon varies across countries (and schemes), but can include an element of carbon offsetting.
Researchers estimate that there are hundreds of net zero commercial buildings and thousands of net zero homes around the world.
As part of the project, WorldGBC will work with Green Building Councils to establish robust definitions of “net zero” for their own markets.
How can my GBC join the project?
If you would like to get involved in Advancing Net Zero or find out further information about the project, please contact Jonathan Laski, Director, Global Projects and Partnerships (email@example.com).
GBCs can also work with WorldGBC to identify other local and international organisations that could act as partners on the project.