April 20, 2024

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Buildings and Climate Global Forum – Declaration de Chaillot

The first-ever Buildings and Climate Global Forum, organized by the French Government and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), concluded yesterday with the adoption by representatives of 70 countries of the Declaration de Chaillot, a foundational document for international cooperation that will enable progress towards a rapid, fair, and effective transition of the sector.

The Forum, which brought together over 1,400 participants in the French capital, was dedicated to the decarbonization and climate resilience of buildings. According to the latest Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, released this week by UNEP and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), the building and construction sector represents over a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. The report indicates that in 2022, the sector accounted for 37 percent of global operational energy and process-related CO2 emissions.

In the Declaration de Chaillot, the signing ministers recall that with the acceleration of climate change, buildings will increasingly be exposed to climate-related risks, particularly affecting developing countries and cities. Moreover, by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, and global demand for raw materials is expected to double by 2060.

The signatory ministers of the Declaration de Chaillot emphasize the still inadequate volume of renovations and constructions of sustainable buildings, widening the gap between the sector’s trajectory and the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 1.5°C by 2100. They also denounce the continued investment in systems and buildings with excessive carbon intensity and the overexploitation of natural resources for construction material production, which contributes to biodiversity and environmental degradation.

In the face of the climate emergency, a swift transition of the buildings sector is a direct requirement to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement. However, it is essential to construct this transition with all stakeholders, with a shared vision of cooperation and coordination, considering the specificities of each state.

The Declaration de Chaillot represents a decisive step in the operational implementation of the Paris Agreement. For the first time, government representatives have agreed on a common declaration to engage an entire value chain of the sector in the transition. The participation of over 1800 stakeholders from this value chain at the first-ever Buildings and Climate Global Forum in Paris on 7 and 8 March is the first tangible translation of this unprecedented mobilisation.

“For the very first time, 70 governments from all continents commit to a concrete, operational roadmap with a monitoring mechanism to address the challenges of decarbonization, resilience, and transition in the buildings and climate sector,” said Mr. Christophe Béchu, France’s Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion.   “Along with all stakeholders in the value chain, they pledge to strengthen frameworks, mobilize financing, and share solutions from around the world to implement the Paris Agreement, for a sector that accounts for 21% of greenhouse gas emissions and 55% of global wealth. This is a significant moment for diplomacy and climate action.”

“The Declaration de Chaillot will boost cooperation and strengthen the implementation of local, national, and international climate action in the buildings and construction sector to support the goals of the Paris Agreement. The next round of National Determined Contributions (NDCs), to be submitted by early 2025, will offer a great opportunity to move from ambition to action and accelerate the transformation we need,” said Ligia Noronha, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNEP, New York Office.

“As Minister of State for Cities, I would like to express our support for the Declaration of Chaillot. Although the commitments listed in this important Declaration go beyond the scope of the Ministry of Cities, we are committed to doing our part and supporting the Brazilian government in whatever is within our purview so that they can be achieved,” said Jader Barbalho Filho, Brazil’s Minister of Cities. “To go further, we are examining the possibility of holding a ministerial meeting during COP-30 to continue the discussions initiated in this Forum. And finally, we would like to announce that we will be suggesting and supporting a specific working Group to address the decarbonization of the buildings and real estate sector within the G20 framework.”

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