The International Union of Architects (UIA) has pledged to phase out carbon emissions by buildings by 2050.

The pledge is captured in the 2050 Imperative, unanimously adopted at the recent World Congress of the UIA, which represents about 1.3 million architects in 124 countries worldwide.

The 2050 Imperative states that:

  • failing to act now on climate change will put future generations, and those already affected by extreme weather, natural disasters, and poverty, at great risk
  • urban areas are responsible for over 70% of global CO2 emissions, mostly from buildings
  • Oover the next two decades an area roughly equal to 60% of the world’s building stock will be built and rebuilt in urban areas
  • this provides an unprecedented opportunity to reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions to zero by 2050.

With the adoption of the Imperative, member organisations are charged with promoting the planning and design of carbon neutral cities, towns, urban developments and new buildings in order achieve the 2050 target.

The action items in the 2050 Imperative are based in part on the recent “Roadmap to Zero Emissions” developed by Architecture 2030 and presented at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn in June 2014.