Roger Platt

As co-lead of the United Nations’ 10YFP Program for Sustainable Buildings and Construction, representing the World Green Building Council, USGBC joins the Finland Ministry of the Environment and fellow co-leads UN Environment Programme and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology to engage with a robust group of global stakeholders, including USGBC Platinum-level member Skanska and our partner in India, TERI.

The 10YFP is a global framework that enhances international cooperation to accelerate the shift toward sustainable consumption and production in both developed and developing countries. It also provides capacity building and technical and financial assistance to developing countries and innovation and cooperation among all countries. This exciting new program is the fifth to be launched under the 10YFP framework.

Importantly, the SBC provides a focus on buildings that is absolutely essential to achieving sustainability. Buildings account for an astonishing 40 percent of global energy use, and 12 percent of water use. And that’s just today. It’s predicted another billion homes will be built to house and accommodate the world’s population growth by 2050. Put another way, as UNEP projected, the expected increase in urban population of 2 billion people by 2030 would require the equivalent of 200 new cities the size of Paris. What kind of footprint will these new buildings have? Will they help, or worsen, our situation?

USGBC’s role in the SBC provides a new opportunity for the continued efforts to advance the scale-up of green building practices around the globe. LEED, World Bank/IFC’s EDGE, and other green building rating systems, can help guide, incentivize and reward these practices, which can be adapted appropriately based on the location.

This week, USGBC Senior Fellow Mark Ginsberg will be at the UN Headquarters in New York City for the First Global Meeting of the 10YFP. From here, we and our partners will work to ensure that in Paris this December, the world leaders attending COP21 recognize green buildings for the tremendous carbon emissions reduction opportunity they represent.  To Paris we go.