Our Future Environment: Securing Global Change

Being held in Glasgow, 31 October – 12 November, COP26 is the UN’s climate change conference and will make the UK a global focus of all things related to climate action. The road to secure net zero carbon targets will see timber play a huge part.

The built environment has a central role to play in supporting the world’s transition to a net zero carbon economy. Globally, buildings consume over a third of energy produced, and are responsible for 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions. Following on from COP25 in Paris in 2015, almost 200 countries are being asked to produce an update on their plans to cut carbon emissions.

 Conference of Parties (COP) is the 26th gathering of the 197 member nations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The summit brings together these member nations to discuss the broad goals of the UNFCCC including securing global net-zero, keeping global warming to a 1.5 degrees level, and protecting natural habitats and communities against the effects of climate change.

Out of the 186 countries that have submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 136 countries mention buildings, 53 countries mention building energy efficiency, and 38 specifically call out building energy codes. Most countries do not include full building decarbonisation targets and certain areas such as building materials are under addressed.

“By using more timber in construction, we can capture carbon and reduce CO2 emissions, helping to reduce the impact of climate change,” says Sarah Virgo, Campaign Manager at Wood for Good. “COP26 provides the ideal opportunity for architects, specifiers and policy-makers alike to learn from best practice in timber construction throughout the UK and across the globe.”

If you are in Scotland during COP26 – or increasingly wish to take part virtually – there is plenty on offer. Here are a few timber-related picks to keep you busy. You can find out about the event in full at: https://ukcop26.org

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Koppers - Low Pressure
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Koppers - Low Pressure
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