Global cities commit to make all new buildings ‘net-zero carbon’ by 2030
A total on 19 mayors representing 130 million people across the world have today pledged to ensure all new buildings in their cities operate at net zero carbon by 2030.
Orchestrated by the C40 Cities network, today’s commitment will also see that all buildings, old or new, meet net-zero carbon standards by 2050, providing further support for the Paris Agreement.
Leaders from Copenhagen, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York City, Newburyport, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver and Washington D.C have all made the pledge.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “We want to make London a zero-carbon city by 2050 and we’re working hard to ensure its buildings are energy efficient and supplied with clean energy sources.
“I look forward to collaborating with other cities on our shared vision of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
Buildings typically account for over half of most cities’ greenhouse gas emissions, although this rises to well over 70% in London, Paris and Los Angeles, representing a huge opportunity for improvement.
It is also estimated that half a million people die prematurely each year due to outdoor air pollution caused by the energy used in buildings.
Today’s commitment will ensure all new buildings use energy ultra-efficiently, with any remaining power needs coming only from renewable sources.
State and regional governments will work with the private sector to drive the net-zero carbon target, developing supporting incentives and programmes, and reporting annually on their progress.
Thirteen of the cities have also committed to only owning, occupying and developing assets that are net-zero carbon by 2030, with the pledge coming one month before September’s Global Climate Action Summit in the US.
Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, said: “With this commitment, we’re delivering on our promise to make New York City cleaner and safer for generations to come by meeting the Paris agreement.
“We’re proud to stand alongside other cities worldwide that are taking bold and meaningful steps to cut the pollution driving climate change.”
Image credit: iStock
Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM