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Buildings are one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for over half of total city emissions on average, and a significant source of air pollution. Currently, half a million people die each year due to outdoor air pollution caused by energy used in buildings. Delivering on the goals of the Paris Agreement with scientific proofs requires urgent and dramatic action to cut emissions from buildings.
This report introduces regulations or planning policies for net-zero carbon buildings where possible within our power and authority; state and regional governments, who also played a crucial role in setting standards for buildings. Review of case studies; Cape Town, Copenhagen, Durban, Johannesburg, Medellin, Montreal, Paris, Portland, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver, Newburyport, San Jose, Santa Monica, States and regions signing the similar commitment, Yucatán, Navarra & Catalonia. They are reported by the municipal buildings that are committed to this leadership that promotes net zero carbon building especially from the private sector is another essential player in creating green and healthy buildings. Businesses that have signed the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Building Commitment are welcomed. The collective commitment that inspires the same level of ambition and action from national governments, will play a critical role in setting standards for buildings.
Net zero carbon buildings are green and healthy buildings; with energy ultra-efficiently supplied by renewables. There should be comfortable homes without wastage on energy bills, productive workplaces insulated from extreme temperatures, and healthy schools free from dirty air. Actions are needed today, to impact the future and delivering on this commitment will provide benefits for our citizens to enjoy in the long run. From lower energy bills for all, including our most vulnerable citizens, to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air, the positive impacts of the action are undeniable.
Mayors may lead the way but can't do it alone. Buildings must be transformed, great and small, historic and new, in our cities. In order to ensure that our cities deliver on the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement and develop the net-zero carbon buildings of the future:
Regulations and/or planning policy are enacted to ensure new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 and all buildings by 2050.
Actions to meet this commitment:
1. Establish a roadmap for our commitment to reach net zero carbon buildings.
2. Develop a suite of supporting incentives and programmes.
3. Report annually on progress towards meeting our targets, and evaluate the feasibility of reporting on emissions beyond operational carbon (such as refrigerants).
Additionally, in many of the cities, municipal or government buildings represent a significant proportion of the building emissions and offered a large opportunity for rapid action. Pilot innovations are carried out to build capacity in the local markets and inspire others to follow this lead. Commitment to owning, occupying and developing only assets that are net zero carbon in operation by 2030.
To meet this commitment, we will:
1. Evaluate the current energy demand and carbon emissions from our municipal buildings, and identify opportunities for reduction.
2. Establish a roadmap for our commitment to reach net zero carbon municipal buildings.
3. Report annually on progress towards meeting our targets, and evaluate the feasibility of including emissions beyond operational carbon (such as refrigerants).