UIA Declares Commitment to Phasing Out CO2 Emissions in Built Environment

The International Union of Architects (UIA) has adopted the 2050 Imperative, committing to environmental and social sustainability. The declaration, presented on August 8 at the UIA World Congress, recognizes the urgency of the UIA and its member organizations, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), in committing to a sustainable and equitable future.

"We have made great strides towards a sustainably built environment, but we still need to advance the industry to make sustainable design the de facto standard for all construction projects," said AIA President, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA. "Sustainable design practices implemented by the world's architects will mitigate climate change and ultimately save lives."

Urban areas are responsible for more than 70 percent of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions, mostly from buildings. Over the next two decades, an area roughly equal to 60 percent of the world's total building stock is projected to be built and rebuilt in urban areas. This provides an opportunity to reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions by setting the global building sector on a path to phase out CO2 emissions by 2050.

By adopting the 2050 Imperative, member organizations have committed to advocacy and promotion pertaining to planning and design of carbon neutral cities, towns, urban developments, and new buildings; engaging in research and setting targets towards meeting the 2050 goal, and developing and delivering equitable access to the information and tools to deliver these objectives.