The impacts of climate change are now felt by all sectors of the global economy with far reaching developmental consequences. Developing countries, like South Africa, are most at risk: where a large portion of the population live in geographically vulnerable areas and are hardest hit by extreme weather events.
Climate Change continues to negatively disrupt economic performance, but there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions will accelerate a transition to a more resilient economy aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2019 UN Climate Summit warned of the bleak future we face and the warning is clear: we need to take action now. During the summit, governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities and international organisations, including the World Green Building Council, committed actions to develop ambitious solutions in six areas:
- a global transition to renewable energy;
- sustainable and resilient infrastructures and cities;
- sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans;
- resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and
- alignment of public and private finance with a net zero economy.
GBCSA has unpacked the building blocks and now it is time to develop a clear roadmap and action plan for all stakeholders to implement. While many strategies exist, it is time to consolidate our plans and develop a common path to achieve our shared goals. It is time to clearly articulate green building outcomes, actions, targets and policy that will transition us to a built environment in which people and planet thrive.
So, in 2020, GBCSA is committing to facilitating this collaboration and plan of action, across the public and private sector, to reach a sustainable future – that will endure for generations to come.