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World Green Building Council Sets Net Zero Target for 2050

U.S. EPA/Wikipedia
U.S. EPA/Wikipedia

The World Green Building Council announced last week that it had joined the effort to ensure that all buildings around the world are net zero—meaning that they produce as much energy as they consume over their life cycles—by 2050.

At the Paris climate conference last year, WorldGBC, its 74 national green building councils, and their 27,000 member companies committed to an 84-gigatonne carbon dioxide cut by 2050 through net zero buildings and “deep renovation” practices. The program will begin with national councils in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, The Netherlands, South Africa, and Sweden working with Architecture 2030 as technical advisor.

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“The success of our ambitions to keep global warming to within 1.5 to 2° will depend on our ability to advance net zero buildings—those which generate clean energy and produce no net emissions,” WorldGBC CEO Terri Wills told the Business and Climate Summit in London last week. “Getting down to zero won’t be easy. This will be a long and challenging road,” but “we can create a thriving market for highly efficient buildings and make net zero the new normal.”

The WorldGBC plan calls for new buildings to hit the net zero standard by 2030, and all buildings to follow suit by 2050. That will mean training 75,000 net zero building professionals world-wide by 2030 and 300,000 by 2050, and ensuring that all national green building councils with certification schemes introduce net zero tools by 2030.

Under this new project, WorldGBC and Architecture 2030 will work directly with participating GBCs to transform these commitments into actions,” Architecture 2030 commented. “This collaboration marks a critical inception point that will align disparate efforts across the industry and set the stage for global adoption of net zero standards.(h/t to Architecture 2030 for pointing us to this story)