Green Building Convention 2016: effecting environmental transformation in the built environment in Africa
“The private sector alongside civil society has a major role to play in achieving a world where we do not have to balance economic development and a stable climate”, said Climate Reality Project’s Mario Molina at the Green Building Convention held on July 27, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Mario explained that Climate Reality Leaders are taking action to foster behavioural change from the bottom up and across all stakeholders – communities, private sector, decision-makers. They advocate with the authorities to adopt and implement environmental-friendly policies, and take part in holding governments to account for the commitments made to tackle climate change. Their interventions cover the various areas that impact on climate change, including buildings, cities and infrastructure.
Mario stressed the importance of the event in the light of the fact that buildings are currently responsible for 6% of the global greenhouse gas emissions from the private sector.
A study commissioned by the Green Building Council South Africa shows that building ‘green’ is on average only 5% more expensive in terms of upfront building costs than ‘conventional’ building.
The World Building Council plans on making all buildings carbon neutral by 2050. This would have an extensive long term impact on carbon mitigation. In fact, breakthrough technologies and mindsets are already providing multiple opportunities to deliver on sustainability on the continent through green building effectiveness, provided that they can rely on supportive and forward-looking legal and financial frameworks.