- This event has passed.
Building the future and resilient communities
November 17, 2022 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm EET
13:30 – 14:30 (EET)
Cities are the decisive parameter and at the frontline of climate change. Climate change and growing
urbanization are intertwined megatrends and rising global temperatures have caused extreme
weather events including flash floods, storms, droughts, and heatwaves in cities. All of these have
impacts on urban services, housing, infrastructure, livelihoods, urban ecosystems, cultural practices,
and the health and wellbeing of city residents. At the same time cities are the drivers of the economy and their dense population create a great potential for initiating and propelling string initiatives to combat climate change.
Growing urbanization and population growth, coupled with economic development and rising
prosperity are expected to contribute to rising emissions in cities. More buildings are needed in the
future and building stock is increasing, with the equivalent of Paris added in floor space every 5 days and that of Japan every year. Half of the buildings that will stand in 2060 have not yet been built and this poses the risk of locking in emissions from energy use in inefficient buildings and jeopardizes providing affordable energy access and services. Buildings and urban infrastructure are key drivers of energy demand and emissions, responsible for almost 40% of CO2 emissions and over a third of final energy use.
These figures make it unavoidable to look at the local and regional levels, as it is where local
authorities, communities and individuals can collaborate and interact to make the most meaningful
interventions and policies to sustainably work for resilience. The importance of recognizing and
utilizing the knowledge and potential found in local governments must not be neglected, if cities
around the world are to adopt a low-carbon future while building the homes and resilience of all
citizens, especially those most vulnerable to the detrimental consequences of climate change.
With urban areas accounting for approximately three-quarters of energy-related CO2 emissions, the
potential for reductions is noticeable. Focusing on housing and the building stock, this event will look further into how the SURGe Initiative can fast track the advancement of energy efficiency, low-carbon materials and processes, circularity (including reuse of existing buildings), land-use policies, and adaptation/ resilience measures to deliver solutions at scale for more sustainable, low-carbon or zero-carbon ready, resilient, healthy, and affordable housing, shelter, workplaces, communities, and settlements.
On 17 November, the COP27 side event in the One Building Pavilion will focus upon key aspects of
how we can accelerate, scale up, and implement robust climate action for buildings that harnesses
expertise and capacities in cities and at the local and regional levels.