Leaders of 19 cities around the world have all committed to eliminate carbon emissions from buildings as part of the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration.
The agreement, which was signed by various governors and mayors, states that new building portfolios will have zero carbon emissions by 2030, with this applying to all buildings by 2050.
The 19 cities partaking in the initiative are London, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, New York, Johannesburg, Montreal, San Francisco, Paris, Portland, Vancouver, Washington DC, Tokyo, Toronto, Sydney, Stockholm, San Jose, Santa Monica, Tshwane and Newburyport. They represent a total of around 130mn citizens.
Net Zero Buildings are defined as those that use energy ‘ultra-efficiently’ and meet any remaining needs from renewable sources. The agreement has been organised by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which is a network of 90 cities and claims to represent 35% of the global economy in its commitment to addressing climate change.
The declaration states: “We pledge to enact regulations and/or planning policy to ensure new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030 and all buildings by 2050.”
The steps toward this goal are to establish a roadmap for commitment to reaching net zero carbon buildings; to develop a suite of supporting incentives and programmes; and to report annually on progress while evaluating the feasibility of reporting on other emissions aside from operation carbon, like refrigerants.
Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40, stated: “Paris is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and iconic buildings. As mayors of the world’s great cities we recognise our responsibility to ensure every building, whether historic or brand new, helps deliver a sustainable future for our citizens.
“With this commitment cities are getting the job done, concretely delivering on the Paris Agreement and building better cities for generations to come.”
Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, said: “Tokyo aims to achieve ‘Zero Emission Tokyo’ that produces no CO2 emissions and has been implementing ambitious actions to reduce CO2 emissions from buildings, such as the Tokyo Cap and Trade Program, which is the first city-level mandatory CO2 emissions reduction program in the world to include office buildings.
“As a member of the C40 steering committee, I will work hand in hand with the world’s major cities, and advance the initiatives.”