UNEP - SBCI 2012 AGM e Simpósio
Eficiência no Uso de Recursos e Economia Verde: Oportunidades para Edifícios e Cidades Sustentáveis

Arab Hoballah
Chefe de Consumo e Produção Sustentáveis, UNEP

We are often asked why the building sector is so important to UNEP. The sector is critical to our work because it represents the intersection of many elements of our societies and economies, and has a significant environmental impact. So many interests converge in and around buildings, and more people understand the great potential and opportunities for sustainable building to help realize economic, environmental and social objectives resource efficiency and responsible governance. The sector accounts for approximately 10% of many economies, and obviously people live, work, and spend their leisure time in buildings.

UNEP's Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative was launched in 2006 to highlight not only the building sector's impact on climate change, but the great potential it has to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. That message has been effective, and there is greater recognition of buildings as an integral part in achieving a low-carbon future.

But we also need to turn our attention to the broader sustainability issues of buildings. As with the link to GHG emissions, more people are beginning to understand the great potential and opportunities for sustainable buildings to help realize economic, environmental and social objectives. To do this we are not just working to finalize our Sustainable Building Reporting Protocol, a globally consistent framework to measure, report, and verify the influence of the performance of building stock on core sustainability issues. We are also developing a clear message for stakeholders on the importance of addressing a broader range of sustainability issues through the adoption of sustainable building policies and practices.

The UNEP-SBCI Symposium in Sao Paulo, Resource Efficiency and Green Economy: Opportunities for Sustainable Buildings is, in the context of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, a timely opportunity to focus on the potential the building sector has to offer in achieving sustainable development objectives. As such a large percentage of many economies, the building sector can effectively lead transformation to greater resource efficiency and a green economy, creating jobs, meeting social and economic development needs, and reducing environmental impacts.

We also realize that buildings must be integrated in the "natural environment", meaning we must also look at cities and urban development. We must focus on the relationship between planning and the performance of buildings and infrastructure in the forms of energy, transport, water, and waste, so as to further promote and deliver a transformative change through resource efficiency, in particular energy efficiency.

With great support from our UNEP-SBCI Partners and co-organizers in Brazil, including Conselho Brasileiro de Construção Sustentável, Cidade de São Paulo (Secretaria do Verde e Meio Ambiente do Município de São Paulo SMA, SECOVI-SP, Secretária do Estado de São Paulo, Secretaria da Habitação e Companhia de Desenvolvimento Habitacional e Urbano do Estado de São Paulo, and Secretaria Nacional de Habitação – Ministério das Cidades, we look forward to a very successful symposium, a clear message for Rio, and focused attention on the challenges and opportunities to create enduring sustainability for, and with, the building sector.

Cesar U. Trevino
President, Mexico Green Building Council

Planejamento sustentável, projeto, construção e operação de edifícios - e cidades e geral - apresenta uma oportunidade ímpar para o setor de construção da América Latina em contribuir para a utilização eficiente de recursos global/local, para economias mais saudáveis, para melhora da qualidade de vida e da resiliência geral da comunidade.

Políticas inovadoras, ferramentas baseadas no mercado e parcerias público-privadas observadas na região estão abrindo novas rotas para ambientes construídos mais sustentáveis.

Stellan Fryxell
Tengbom Architects & representative of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers

FIDIC is proposing a new approach 'Rethink cities' for sustainable urban development based upon improved cooperation, synergies and systems; through promoting an integrated and holistic planning, design, construction and maintenance of sustainable cities through environmental buildings - both new and existing - including far-reaching well-functioning urban structure, land use and infrastructure systems as efficient and renewable energy production, distribution and use; efficient transportation and communication networks; improved air and water quality, reduced and utilise waste, utilise waste water, improve disaster preparedness and response, and increased climate resilience etc. The Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm is one example of a new city area planned after those holistic integrated design principals.

Stephane Pouffary
Chief Executive Officer - Founder Honorary President of ENERGIES 2050

“Some days after the UNEP’s SBCI AGM & Symposium, humanity will celebrate the 20th "Earth Summit" anniversary which, in 1992, allowed for all nations to be inspired by sustainable development principles and to adopt the Agenda 21. This year will also coincide with the end of the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with no real legally binding commitments to secure the next period as stated in the Durban COP17 Conference outcomes.

This is also why Rio+20 is a historic and unique opportunity to re-define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.

 Considering the unique and huge energy efficiency buildings emissions’ reduction potential and the even more significant potential for Cities, it is clear sustainable cities and sustainable buildings will have to play a significant role in the next period.

 Our next challenge is to transform knowledge into actions and to find a way to bring “buildings and cities” to the forefront of the negotiation process. In addition, due to the buildings and Cities arrangements lifespan, failure to act now on energy efficiency and low carbon technologies will lock in detrimental energy and carbon impacts for decades to come with significant consequences on the use of resources.

Sustainable cities and sustainable buildings as “sleeping giants” need to be put in the upfront of national and international agendas. Working toward a green economy revolution for a low carbon society without reducing Buildings and Cities footprint would not only be unrealistic but would also consume time and money for predictable poor results. The point now is to transform constraints into opportunities.

 UNEP’s SBCI initiative has demonstrated its capacity to play a significant role tackling challenges and so, contributing to the global solution. The Sao Paulo SBCI AGM and Symposium will be in that sense a unique opportunity to exchange, contribute and inspire the debate just before the Rio+20 launches.”

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