The U.S. Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council (WGBC) announced during Greenbuild 2010 a call for partners to join a new international alliance that will advocate sustainable design and building as a critical strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change.
The newly formed Global Leadership in Our Built Environment (GLOBE) Alliance will work globally to raise awareness among policymakers, financial institutions, and United Nations bodies of the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable design, construction, and energy-efficient building operations and to increase support for cost-effective investment in sustainable building practices. According to GLOBE, the building sector represents the greatest and most cost-effective potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions out of all the other industrial or manufacturing sectors in the world.
"There's tremendous growth in the developing world and in those countries' building sectors," says Jason Hartke, vice president of national policy for the USGBC, who was deeply involved in the development of GLOBE. "What we don't want is for these developing countries—who will represent 97 percent of the projected increase in greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030—to lock in the current inefficiencies in their building sectors."
GLOBE will seek to influence national and international policies to increase green building activity; to promote strategies for overcoming the technical, regulatory, and financial barriers to advancing green building; and to educate policymakers and thought leaders so they can advance the cause within their realms.
"Forty-six green building councils, representing over half of our membership, are in developing nations," says WGBC CEO Jane Henley. "We believe the inclusion of the built environment in financial tools geared toward lowering emissions, like carbon trading, will support local economic development in these countries while helping solve this important global issue."
While to date 40 organizations and companies from diverse industries around the world have joined GLOBE as partners, the alliance is calling for additional supporters. All GLOBE members are equal partners in achieving the organization's goals, according to Hartke. "Everybody is coming together to help shape, refine, and strengthen our message and its delivery to global policymakers and international financial institutions," he says.
Partner organizations currently include the American Institute of Architects, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Urban Land Institute, Johnson Controls, Ingersoll Rand, Romania Green Building Council, Center for American Progress, China Urban Realty Association Green Building Committee, National Institute of Building Sciences, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, among many others.
To learn more about the GLOBE Alliance, visit www.globealliance.org.