European cities target net-zero carbon buildings by 2050

(EurActiv, 24 May 2019) A coalition of eight European cities – including Madrid, Wroclaw, and Leeds – have pledged to completely decarbonise their existing building stocks by 2050. EURACTIV’s media partner edie.net reports.

The commitment is called Build Upon2 and is being convened by the World Green Building Council (WGBC).

It will see the cities collaboratively develop and implement a built environment renovation and retrofitting framework aimed at boosting residents’ wellbeing and local economies while dramatically reducing carbon emissions across all Scopes.

As the framework is implemented over the years, the cities will be required to use local-level data to lobby for national policymakers to set equally ambitious net-zero legislation for buildings.

The overarching aim of the project is for the cities to prove that net-zero is possible for the built environment sector in urban environments, in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) recommendation that global carbon emissions should reach zero by mid-century in order to limit warming below 1.5C.

According to WGBC, “deep renovation” centred around wellbeing and environmental sustainability could also solve a host of other challenges, including fuel poverty, indoor air quality and increasing pressure on healthcare and social services.

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EurActiv, 24 May 2019: European cities target net-zero carbon buildings by 2050