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New partnership promises greener buildings for China

Chongqing, China
Image: Ming Chen

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is teaming up with its Chinese counterpart to increase building sustainability in the world’s largest building construction market, and help it to move towards net zero.

China is currently adding up to two billion square metres of building a year, and the partnership between the WorldGBC and China Green Building Council (China GBC) hopes to improve and increase green building practices and cut carbon emissions in the country, which is expected to see fivefold growth in green building activity in the next five years.

“The significance of bringing China into the global green building movement cannot be underestimated,” WorldGBC chief executive Terri Wills said.

“Just as China has sought to assert its commitment to combating climate change on the global stage, this partnership marks a new era in cooperation between the world’s largest green construction market and our community of Green Building Councils in over 70 countries.”

China’s GBC has already seen about 523 million square metres of building certified under its Three Star green building program. However, because it is not officially a non-government organisation it has not been allowed to become a formal member of the WorldGBC.

The partnership aims to work with the China GBC is much the same way as it would work with an “established Green Building Council”, the highest tier of membership. The partnership will see information shared by both parties on best practice in green construction.

“We look forward to learning from their expertise and experience as we seek to create green buildings for everyone, everywhere,” Ms Wills said.

As part of the partnership, China GBC has committed to introducing a nearly net zero standard to its Three Star program, aligning with the WorldGBC’s Advancing Net Zero project.

Indoor air quality is another key component of the partnership, with the China GBC keen to get involved with the Better Places for People project, which focuses on the health benefits of green buildings, an important facet as many of China’s cities struggle with poor urban air quality.

“We are strongly committed to healthy and low-carbon developments in China and in this respect we are delighted to become a partner to the World Green Building Council,” China GBC chair Professor Wang Youwei said.

“This partnership will enable China to learn from global best practices, share the progress we have made in China, and to accelerate our commitments made in the Paris Agreement.”

China is expected to have the second-highest level of growth in green building activity over the next three years, behind Brazil, according to Dodge Data and Analytics.

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