Take aways from COP27

CAGBC Staff on December 1, 2022


Last month, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP27 concluded. The results from the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh were mixed.

The event hosted over 100 Heads of State and Governments, more than 35,000 participants and provided a showcase for climate action around the world. While COP27 ended with a commitment to establish and operationalize a loss and damage fund to ensure support for developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, no funding level was confirmed as part of the commitment.

There was also no common agreement on phasing down on fossil fuel consumption, likely influenced by the ongoing war in Ukraine and its effect on a growing global energy crisis. Despite this, the parties reinforced their commitment to the Paris Agreement and pursuing the goal of limited global warming to 1.5 C – although that target seems farther and farther away.

The building sector was well-represented through the Building To COP Coalition, which includes the World Green Building Council, of which CAGBC is a member. The building sector was particularly active during key days in the COP27 schedule, including Nov. 11 – Decarbonization Day, and Nov. 17 – Solutions Day, which featured a call for a Buildings Breakthrough to accelerate the transition to sustainable buildings for everyone everywhere.

Canada @ COP

While attending COP27, Catherine Stewart, the Canadian Ambassador to Climate Change, met with WorldGBC President and CEO Cristina Gamboa to talk about Canada’s green building ambitions.

Canada joined the new Buildings Breakthrough, an initiative supported by the WorldGBC, GlobalABC and 15 other countries aiming that ‘near zero emissions and resilient buildings become the new normal by 2030.’ Breakthroughs currently exist for other high-emitting sectors, including Transport, Power, Hydrogen, Steel and Agriculture. This new addition will be officially announced in the coming months.

On the procurement side, Canada signed on the Net-Zero Government Initiative, which invites governments to lead by example by committing to net-zero emissions from national government operations by no later than 2050. Governments are encouraged to use their purchasing power to create opportunity for innovative and sustainable purchasing for things like zero-emission vehicles, green and resilient buildings and infrastructure, and cleaner energy sources.

The Net-Zero Government Initiative underscores the critical role governments can play in catalyzing economy-wide climate actions, creating jobs, fostering innovation, and meeting climate targets. It reinforced past agreement between the USA and Canada as well as provides an international forum for countries to exchange knowledge, encourage innovation and share best practices to promote the greening of national government operations.

You can review a summary of Environment and Climate Change Canada actions during COP27: Canada at COP27 – Canada.ca.

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