World Architects Pledge Zero Carbon by 2050

The UIA has adopted a measure to eliminate carbon emissions by the midcentury.

The UIA has announced that its members have adopted the 2050 Imperative, which hopes to phase out carbon-emitting buildings by the middle of the century. The move could produce more projects like Ronald Lu and Partners’ Zero-Carbon Building in Hong Kong.

Courtesy Ronald Lu and Partners

Good news came by way of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) last night: The International Union of Architects (UIA), a group representing about 1.3 million architects worldwide and 124 member organizations, announced that it had unanimously adopted the 2050 Imperative, a declaration that supports phasing out all CO2 emissions by the middle of the century. The initiative was drafted by Architecture 2030 and introduced last week by the AIA, at the UIA’s World Congress in Durban, South Africa.

While this is merely a pledge, the list of groups supporting it is truly global in scope. According to Architecture 2030, it includes all of the architecture councils of Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa. What’s especially promising here is the participation of The Architecture Society of China and The Indian Institute of Architects. These countries represent more than a third of the world’s population and, given the amount of building occurring there, will most likely play key roles in mitigating climate change. Having their architects support the ambitious goals of the 2050 Imperative sends a powerful, positive message.

The declaration is also particularly well timed for the upcoming UN Climate Change Summit, which kicks off September 23rd. With the declaration, the world’s architecture community—virtually all of it—has committed itself to a fossil-fuel free future. Let’s hope the United Nations and the governments of the world are listening.

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