COP26 brighter future

The Future’s Looking Brighter & Greener After COP26

With the climate change summit of 2021 boxed off, it looks like we’re one step closer to the dawning of a brighter, greener future in architecture and beyond

Approximately 70,000 landscape architects led the fight against climate change at this Glasgow summit – the largest in history – and we couldn’t have been more pleased to see its worldwide impact.

The growing numbers bring with them a collective optimism for what’s possible, and what’s within our grasp in the years to follow. Greener construction is just one of the ways that huge change is in store, as net zero construction becomes a widespread reality and sustainable architecture is nudged ever further into a mainstream conscience. Ultimately, the 2021 COP26 summit brought with it a feeling that we are closer than ever to our ultimate goal – and what we are looking at now is real, actionable change for all.

The building bricks of change

When it comes to climate change, there’s no avoiding the fact that architecture has a huge role to play – we’ve been saying it for years! But now that the whole world has seen it, we can actually start to pave the way towards real, lasting solutions.

We couldn’t be more pleased to say that now, as we head into 2022, building better is no longer a distant dream but a requirement, the world over.

The coming year of 2022 will see some new regulations, which aim to slash buildings emissions and set the standard for more sustainable architecture going forward. New homes will have to produce about 30% less carbon, ultimately creating new standards for developers and architects into the future. The path towards success!

The future of net zero construction

Did you know that buildings are responsible for almost 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions? Which is why it is so important that major changes are made to how they are constructed. Changes that are now well on the way. A net zero construction boom is frankly imminent, as developers and architects move in line with new, greener regulations for future projects. We simply couldn’t be happier to watch as the world falls in behind us.

What is net zero constriction?

In plain English, net-zero homes are an efficient way of protecting the planet from climate change by reducing harm to the environment. We’re talking drastically reducing energy usage and harmful emissions, as well as curtailing unnecessary waste. It’s about doing things once and doing them well so that they last. Forget glass buildings fitted with the latest aircon technology. Net-zero means a building is well-constructed enough that it barely needs heating or cooling, and that it generates the power needed to heat or cool it itself, sustainably.

However, while the idea of sustainability and net zero has been thrown around a lot in the past, now we have an actionable, measurable goal: the building sector absolutely has to operate at what is known as “net zero carbon” by 2050 if global warming is to remain under two degrees Celsius, as per the Paris Agreement. And now that these new rules have come into play, it’s looking like a possibility!

“Tragedy into triumph”

While the small steps the world has made have been in the right direction, we’ve simply not been moving fast enough, and if we don’t all jump on the sustainability train sharpish, we’ll have no world to call home. This is the message Sir David Attenborough shared as he addressed the COP26 crowd with a powerful message, pointing out that we are at various “points of no return.” He added:

“We need to rewrite our story to turn this tragedy into a triumph. We are after all the greatest problem solvers to have ever existed on earth. We now understand this problem. We know how to stop the number rising and put it in reverse. We must halt carbon emissions this decade.” 

He added: “Our burning of fossil fuels, our destruction of nature, our approach to industry, construction and learning are releasing carbon into the atmosphere at an unprecedented pace and scale. We are already in trouble. The stability we all depend on is breaking.”

So, while COP26 has made strides, we’re now looking forward, to the COP27 in 2022, which will continue the efforts made to create the future we are working for.

When is COP27?

The 27th annual COP is expected to take place between 7-18 November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Another crucial summit for us, our industry and our planet, COP27 is set to take the decisions made this year even further, taking us even closer to our ultimate goal.

What better place to start a new year than with our gaze firmly trained on a brighter, greener future? So goodbye 2021, and may 2022 be everything we hope it will be!

Anabela Macieira
Core Architects — CEO and Founder


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