At its World Congress event in Durban last week, the International Union of Architects (UIA)'s 124 member organizations declared their commitment to sustainable architecture by unanimously adopting the 2050 Imperative, a plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the built environment to zero by mid-century.
The adoption of the 2050 Imperative was planned to coincide with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference that will reconvene in Paris in 2015, and has as one of its aims a plan to phase out CO2 emissions from the power and industrial sectors by 2050. The UIA stated their aim to "send a strong message to the Parties of the UNFCCC, and to the world, that we are committed to a truly sustainable and equitable future."
Read on after the break for more detail from the 2050 Imperative, including 5 key objectives
A statement released by the UIA said: "urban areas are responsible for over 70% of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions, mostly from buildings. Over the next two decades, an area roughly equal to 60% of the total building stock of the world is projected to be built and rebuilt in urban areas worldwide. This provides an unprecedented opportunity to reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions by setting the global building sector on a path to phase out CO2 emissions by 2050."
The statement sets out 5 key objectives for architecture and the construction industry generally which are designed to achieve their zero-carbon goal:
- Plan and design cities, towns, urban developments, new buildings, to be carbon neutral, meaning they use no more energy over the course of a year than they produce, or import, from renewable energy sources.
- Renovate and rehabilitate existing cities, towns, urban redevelopments and buildings to be carbon neutral whilst respecting cultural and heritage values.
- In those cases where reaching carbon neutral is not feasible or practical, plan and design cities, towns, urban developments, new buildings, and renovations to be highly efficient with the capability to produce, or import, all their energy from renewable energy sources in the future.
- We commit to the principle of engaging in research and setting targets towards meeting the 2050 goal.
- Advocate and promote socially responsible architecture for the community Develop and deliver equitable access to the information and tools needed to:
- plan and design sustainable, resilient, inclusive and low-carbon/zero carbon built environments.
- design no-cost/low-cost, on-site renewable energy and natural resources systems (e.g., passive heating and cooling, water catchment and storage, solar hot water, daylighting, and natural ventilation systems)."