We are at a turning point in terms of energy transition and low carbon.
And if we are here today, it is thanks to the commitment of countries, communities, associations and entrepreneurs who, before the others:
And it is through this dynamic that the ratification of the Paris Agreement takes on its full meaning.
1. An Alliance that meets the challenges we face.
The construction sector accounts for one-third of GHG emissions. If the existing buildings fleet is a major issue, to meet the immense needs of the population on a global scale, it is necessary to double the building stock by 2050! We need to:
The Global Alliance for Buildings and Constructions is making steady progress in this direction.
2. A particularly rich balance sheet of 2016.
The ambition of its first year of existence was to:
This year has been particularly rich and active.
And the involvement of a large number of countries has made it possible, I believe, to place this young initiative in a perennial and sustainable perspective at the international level.
I was Head of Delegation at the UN Habitat 3 Conference in Quito. And I could see the extent of the Alliance's expectations in terms of sustainable development and construction. Under the Alliances’ leadership, the final declaration of the Habitat III conference largely takes into account the importance of sustainable buildings.
As a follow-up to the Paris agreement, this is a major and decisive step forward for the climate and for global solidarity.
The year 2016 made it possible to extend the scope of the network by integrating new partners: Argentina, the Russian Federation and Mongolia.
And others have shown a keen interest in joining us: Iran, India, Indonesia, Maldives and Cambodia, but also many major players, including financiers, such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Regional dialogues were held for Asia (in Singapore) and Latin America (Lima) and led to the launch of joint initiatives, particularly between countries requesting technical assistance and organizations able to respond to the needs expressed.
Finally, since 1 September 2016 the permanent Secretariat of the Alliance is based at UN Environment.
We are ready, now is the moment of action. That is why 2017 is so important to me. We must move forward together to make it fully effective.
It is necessary to take advantage of this positive dynamic to emerge from experimenting and move quickly to a dynamic of mainstreaming and mass take-on; to come together to mobilize relevant resources (including financial resources) and set in motion an irreversible movement to mobilize the enormous potential of the construction sector.
Because we are in a hurry: the climatic emergency is proven!
3. Alliance Priorities for 2017
The Alliance must therefore take on new priorities.
Everywhere and immediately more efficient buildings are needed. The massive and demanding renovation of existing buildings and new zero-energy buildings must become the general rule at the global level. I am not unaware, of course, of each country’s particular situation. This challenge is technical, economic, social and environmental. We need to address it as soon as possible, because we know that the buildings built today are the energy constraints of tomorrow. The quicker the necessary investments are made, the more profitable they will be.
For all this, we must unite our necessary means for action. France, President of the COP21, has invested heavily in the creation of this tool for the benefit of all. We did it because it was absolutely necessary for buildings to finally take their place in the fight against climate change.
Many actions are possible and it is up to us and you together to determine priorities based on your knowledge and expertise of global realities.
We will continue to support this momentum, which will gain the power that can only be claimed with the help of all. We collectively have no choice but to succeed.
I wish the Alliance many new partners!
Her Excellency Ms Emmanuelle Cosse, Minister of Housing and Territorial Equality, French Republic