Buildings have been making a big appearance on the world stage as leaders from around the globe discuss climate change at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC), commonly referred to as COP-17. The talks, which began November 28 will continue until tomorrow December 9, 2011, in Durban South Africa.
The primary concern of the conference is coming up with a global plan for tackling climate change, and we all know that buildings play a large role in this. It’s not surprising, then, that large-scale policy changes coming out of the conference could have wide-reaching impacts on the advance of green building ideas.
Some of the building-related issues that have been discussed at the conference include:
- Clean Development Mechanism: One of the primary aims of all COP conferences is to come up with a way to monetize carbon emissions, and the international carbon market (called the Clean Development Mechanism) is one such mechanism. This market will help funnel money to programs for green buildings, energy efficiency, and larger-scale community projects, especially through organizations like the World Bank and the UNEP Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative (UNEP-SBCI).
- Scaling clean tech for emerging markets: This will be particularly pertinent for markets such as China, Brazil, and India where the greatest growth is expected in the next decade or so. Developed countries have committed $100 billion per year by 2020 for implementation of clean tech ideas, so there’s much to be done in this area.
- World Green Building Council: Delegations from the World Green Building Council originating from around the world – including the US, Australia, and Europe – have been meeting to discuss the UNEP-SBCI, which may present a substantial, first-ever opportunity to develop multinational efforts on climate change related to buildings.
Let's hope for some tangible results coming out of the conference.