On 27-29 June 2023 the Enniscorthy Forum hosted the inaugural summit of the Buildings Action Coalition (agenda attached as Annex 1), with the following major outcomes:
- A new partnership between the UN and the Buildings Action Coalition (BAC) was announced. The objective of the partnership is to raise the performance of buildings and the built environment quickly and at global scale to mitigate climate change while delivering on quality of life aspirations (Annex 2).
- BAC members acceded to the new partnership in a formal signing ceremony at Enniscorthy Castle (Annex 3).
- The Buildings Breakthrough Target was presented. Assembled participants called on the government to endorse the target (Annex 4). The target is now on the political agenda.
- The BAC’s major programme of projects and activities was launched to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future with tangible outcomes (Annex 5).
- Expert panels engaged with the audience on key elements of the BAC programme: Building/Grid Integration: demand reduction and management can enable dynamic interaction between the provision of quality energy services and low- ornon-carbon electricity supply. Retrofits: Extensive building retrofits are the only realistic path to sustainability. Ukraine’s human environment must be rebuilt, but it can go from devastation to amodel for sustainable communities, retaining their Ukrainian nature, with proper investment. Global South Dialogue : The world can rewrite the relationship between the developed North and developing South while securing a sustainable, prosperous future for both that meets quality of life aspirations. Workforce Training : Education and training are vital to transformations at scale. For education and training to be effective catalysts, they need to both form and be informed by an ethos of sustainability rooted in the broader community.
- Ministers from the Irish Government joined the event, and a BAC delegation subsequently met with ministers to brief them on the key outcomes.
Preface from Enniscorthy Forum Chief Executive Officer Barbara-Anne Murphy
Improving the performance of buildings and the built environment is the one action that can deliver integrated solutions at scale in a timely fashion to produce tangible outcomes on economic, social, and environmental resilience, quality of life, and climate, among other desirable outcomes, and in the process advance employment, innovation, and investment.
The launch of the collaboration between the Buildings Action Coalition and the United Nations Environment Programme is an exciting development for the Enniscorthy Forum and is proof that small local organisations can achieve big things with the right support, the right partners and the right vision. The Building Action Coalition has far- reaching ambitions to help transform the built environment worldwide.
Since our foundation in 2020, the Enniscorthy Forum has received significant support from the Irish government, industry partners and Buildings Action Coalition members. Signing this MOU with UNEP brings our work to the next level and increases our reach and influence as well as that of the membership of the Buildings Action Coalition. The Buildings Action Coalition supports UNEP’s work.
Our activities include advocating for market transformation to achieve high performance buildings, developing guidelin es that will help deliver net zero buildings and working closely with all stakeholders to lead and support this much-needed transition.
We have a significant programme of collaborations including outreach, research, academic studies, construction projects and education and training schemes. We will expand the global membership network of the Buildings Action Coalition to more countries and more stakeholders. We will mobilise resources and disseminate knowledge, experience and best practices to transition to wards zero emission buildings and construction.
As part of this work we have called on the Irish government to sign up to the Buildings Breakthrough Target. This is an important initiative that urges countries to ensure that near-zero emission and resilient buildings are the new normal by 2030. To date 16 countries have signed up to it and we need Ireland to join them.
As part of the new MOU, UNEP and UNEP’s Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) have now become lead partners of the Enniscorthy Forum and the Buildings Action Coalition is now aligned with the Global ABC. Our thanks to all the speakers, sponsors, and panellists for making this inaugural summit a success.