UIA Declares Commitment to Phasing Out CO2 Emissions in Built Environment

Washington, D.C. – August 13, 2014 – The International Union of Architects (UIA), representing approximately 2.3 million architects worldwide through 124 national member sections has unanimously adopted the 2050 Imperative, committing to environmental and social sustainability. The historic declaration, presented on August 8th at the UIA World Congress in Durban, recognizes the urgency of the UIA and its member organizations, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), in committing to a truly sustainable and equitable future. A delegation from the AIA, including AIA President, Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, supports the declaration. 

“We have made great strides towards a sustainable 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 over 70 percent of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions, mostly from buildings, and 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 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 declaration stated:

“Our responsibility is to influence ethical and socially responsible development throughout the world: to plan and design sustainable, resilient, carbon-neutral and healthy built environments that protect and enhance natural resources and wildlife habitats, provide clean air and water, generate on-site renewable energy, and advance more livable buildings and communities.”

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.

The full declaration is available to view here.

About The American Institute of Architects

Founded in 1857, members of the American Institute of Architects consistently work to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well being.  Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.


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