Transitioning to a sustainable built environment: World Green Building Week 2023 begins today
11 SEPTEMBER 2023 – “We must take urgent action if we are to prevent our being evicted by an uninhabitable planet,” said Cristina Gamboa, CEO of World Green Building Council (WorldGBC). “Yet while we may be running out of time, by no means are we running out of solutions.”
From 11–15 September 2023, the network of over 75 Green Building Councils around the world is unified in World Green Building Week. Under the theme of #BuildingTheTransition, it calls for total systematic transformation for the building and construction sector by leveraging localised solutions.
The WorldGBC network, with over 46,000 members, will host events across the world and share examples of #BuildingTheTransition across three themes:
The Energy Transition: More than switching to renewable energy, energy transition requires a complete systemic change. This entails things like:
• Accelerating the uptake of built environments that reduce energy demand, store and share clean energy, and produce more energy than they use.
• Investing in clean technologies and driving economies of scale.
• Deeply retrofitting existing buildings to be exceptionally energy efficient.
The Regenerative Transition: How do we advance regenerative principles in the built environment from niche to normal? Our planet’s resources give us life, but they are not infinite. Humans and the built environment must exist together within a cycle of natural systems. That means not just protecting biodiversity but prioritising its restoration, embracing nature-based solutions, and creating a thriving circular economy across the entire building value chain.
The Just Transition: Climate justice cannot be achieved without social justice. The people who have contributed the least to environmental degradation are suffering the biggest consequences. Equality is not the same as equity. Advancing a just transition in the built environment means committed solidarity to protect human rights from financial flows, to supply chains, to geopolitics.
This year’s campaign will also lead into the United Nations (UN) 2023 SDG Summit on 18–19 September, and pinpoint 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that are essential to catalyse a sustainable built environment.
Scalable solutions to limit global warming will be needed ahead of the world’s first Global Stocktake this November, at the UN Climate Summit COP28 (Conference of Parties). The stocktake will review collective goals agreed upon under the Paris Agreement, highlighting areas of progress and identifying key gaps before countries submit updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2024.
This is a pivotal moment for change as political and private sector leaders across the world ask “how far have we come?”, and “how far do we still have to go?” in order to tackle the worst impacts of global heating.