Buildings and Climate Global Forum – Declaration de Chaillot

The first ever Buildings and Climate Global Forum, organised by the French Government and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), concluded in March 2024, with the adoption by representatives of 70 countries of the Declaration de Chaillot, a foundational document for international cooperation that will enable progress towards a rapid, fair, and effective transition of the sector.

The Forum, which brought together over 1,400 participants in the French capital, was dedicated to the decarbonisation and climate resilience of buildings. According to the latest Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, released this week by UNEP and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), the building and construction sector represents over a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. The report indicates that in 2022, the sector accounted for 37 per cent of global operational energy and process-related CO2 emissions.

In the Declaration de Chaillot, the signing ministers recall that with the acceleration of climate change, buildings will increasingly be exposed to climate-related risks, particularly affecting developing countries and cities. Moreover, by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, and global demand for raw materials is expected to double by 2060.

The signatory ministers of the Declaration de Chaillot emphasize the still inadequate volume of renovations and constructions of sustainable buildings, widening the gap between the sector’s trajectory and the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 1.5°C by 2100. They also denounce the continued investment in systems and buildings with excessive carbon intensity and the overexploitation of natural resources for construction material production, which contributes to biodiversity and environmental degradation.

In the face of the climate emergency, a swift transition of the buildings sector is a direct requirement to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement. However, it is essential to construct this transition with all stakeholders, with a shared vision of cooperation and coordination, considering the specificities of each state.

The ministers committed to:

  • Implementing roadmaps, regulatory frameworks, and mandatory building and energy codes to move towards carbon-neutral buildings;
  • Implementing an appropriate financial framework with financial and fiscal incentives, and regulatory tools to increase the share of resilient, near-zero emission, and affordable buildings;
  • Promoting the adoption of labels, standards, and certifications;
  • Leading by example by adopting ambitious policies regarding public procurement;
  • Promoting the production, development, and use of low-carbon, durable, and cost-effective construction materials;
  • Promoting collaborative value chains, as well as research and development of innovative solutions;
  • Improving skills by strengthening local know-how, considering mitigation and adaptation strategies;
  • Developing multi-level governance, coordination among different stakeholders, and a more participatory approach to ensure coordination of implementation;
  • And developing tools and regulatory frameworks to collect and share data and best practices.

To ensure the implementation of these commitments, the ministers pledge to utilise all international forums such as the G7, G20, G77, and climate COPs to further incorporate the specific issues of construction and buildings. They announce the establishment of an “Intergovernmental Council for Buildings and Climate” coordinated by the GlobalABC to facilitate and monitor the implementation of the goals and means of the Declaration.

The Declaration de Chaillot represents a decisive step in the operational implementation of the Paris Agreement. For the first time, government representatives have agreed on a common declaration to engage an entire value chain of the sector in the transition. The participation of over 1800 stakeholders from this value chain at the first-ever Buildings and Climate Global Forum in Paris on 7 and 8 March is the first tangible translation of this unprecedented mobilisation.

“For the very first time, 70 governments from all continents commit to a concrete, operational roadmap with a monitoring mechanism to address the challenges of decarbonisation, resilience, and transition in the buildings and climate sector,” said Mr. Christophe Béchu, France’s Minister of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion.   “Along with all stakeholders in the value chain, they pledge to strengthen frameworks, mobilise financing, and share solutions from around the world to implement the Paris Agreement, for a sector that accounts for 21% of greenhouse gas emissions and 55% of global wealth. This is a significant moment for diplomacy and climate action.”

“The Declaration de Chaillot will boost cooperation and strengthen the implementation of local, national, and international climate action in the buildings and construction sector to support the goals of the Paris Agreement. The next round of National Determined Contributions (NDCs), to be submitted by early 2025, will offer a great opportunity to move from ambition to action and accelerate the transformation we need,” said Ligia Noronha, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNEP, New York Office.

“As Minister of State for Cities, I would like to express our support for the Declaration of Chaillot. Although the commitments listed in this important Declaration go beyond the scope of the Ministry of Cities, we are committed to doing our part and supporting the Brazilian government in whatever is within our purview so that they can be achieved,” said Jader Barbalho Filho, Brazil’s Minister of Cities. “To go further, we are examining the possibility of holding a ministerial meeting during COP-30 to continue the discussions initiated in this Forum. And finally, we would like to announce that we will be suggesting and supporting a specific working Group to address the decarbonization of the buildings and real estate sector within the G20 framework.”

Countries Declaration

United Arab Emirates – H. E. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure:

“Decarbonizing buildings and ensuring their resilience to climate change risks are key priorities on the world’s agenda. The UAE endorses the Ministerial Declaration that will be an effective tool for achieving these priorities.”

Gabon – H.E. Mr Ludovic Megne Ndong, Minister of Housing, Town Planning and Land Registry:

“As a pioneer in Equatorial Africa on climate and sustainable development issues, Gabon intends to seize the opportunity of the first World Forum on Building and Climate and the Chaillot Declaration to be the driving force behind sustainable design practices, technological innovations and solutions in this sector, and to highlight the breakthrough for buildings as a complementary initiative in the service of the international collaboration needed to decarbonise and make buildings resilient on a global scale.”

United Kingdom – Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance:

“The UK has a record to be proud of when it comes to net zero, having become the first major economy to halve its emissions.

But we know climate change doesn’t respect national borders, so we need to work together with our international partners and friends to meet this challenge head on.

Signing the Déclaracion de Chaillot today is another important step, helping to ensure our nation’s buildings are fit for a low-carbon future, while also supporting the goals of the new Buildings Breakthrough.”

Türkiye – Ms Fatma Varank, Deputy Minister of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change:

“The declaration will contribute to provide green transformation and construction sector to achieve climate goal by believing all out strategy is required to combat climate change.”

UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 – Razan Al Mubarak:

“Business, industry, and city leaders are already taking action to unlock the climate solutions of the buildings sector. We welcome the enabling role this forum plays in further unlocking collaboration at an international level, through initiatives like the Buildings Breakthrough.”

About the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. 

About the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC)

Founded at COP21, hosted by UNEP and with 291 members, including 42 countries, the GlobalABC is the leading global platform for all built environment stakeholders committed to a common vision: A zero-emission, efficient and resilient buildings and construction sector.

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