In a report released on World Environment Day on June 5, the World Green Building Council has announced that nearly 100 signatories have made a commitment to make all their buildings net zero by 2030 or sooner.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment is an initiative under the WorldGBC’s Advancing Net Zero project, which aims to accelerate net-zero carbon buildings to 100% worldwide by 2050. Participation in the commitment has doubled since last year, and the WGBC estimates that the collective action of participating companies could reduce carbon emissions by 3.3 million tons.

According to the WorldGBC, emissions reductions related to COVID-19 lockdowns are only set to temporarily decrease global emissions by 8%. At the same time, with much of the world staying indoors, energy consumption in the home remains high. According to IEA, around 36% of the world’s fossil fuel energy is consumed by buildings.

“Measures to reduce consumption and energy waste in buildings offer the fastest way to unlock carbon savings, but they are often overlooked and deprioritized,” says Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the WorldGBC. “As we overcome the immediate and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must prioritize resilience. Net-zero building can benefit people, economies, and the planet, and must form a part of the bold and decisive action necessary to tackle the climate emergency."

Signatories to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment include the Natural Resources Defense Council; Salesforce; Goldman Sachs; the cities of Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, Newburyport, Mass., Portland, Ore., Santa Monica, Calif., and Washington, D.C.; and the state of California.

The WorldGBC’s next call to action, with an focus on governments, will take place during the 11th annual World Green Building Week, held Sept. 21 to 25.

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