A message to world leaders ahead of COP26
AIA 2021 President Peter Exley, FAIA, and Architecture 2030 CEO Edward Mazria, FAIA, authored the following op-ed, which appeared in The Hill.
Devastating wildfires and brutal heat waves. Expanding drought. Disastrous storms and deadly flooding. Billions of dollars of damage and heartbreaking stories of lost lives and destroyed businesses and homes. Climate change is upon us, and the impacts we are witnessing and experiencing this year are but a harbinger of what’s to come in the years ahead if we collectively fail to act.
Despite the very real and present impacts of climate change, far too many world leaders continue to effectively sit on the sidelines. Collectively, at a moment when bold action is needed, global leaders have yet to mount a response commensurate with the challenge even as the window for action closes.
Buildings are the largest source of the world’s carbon emissions globally, accounting for approximately 40 percent of total emissions due to the energy used for heating, cooling, lighting, appliances and building construction. When you add the embodied carbon of building interiors, systems and associated infrastructure, that percentage is substantially higher.