Singapore, 9 September 2013 - The BCA Centre for Sustainable Buildings (BCA CSB) today announced a new partnership project with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), "The Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Development for the Building Sector in Asia", sealing their commitment to assist developing countries in the region to combat climate change.
This is the first time BCA CSB, an official centre collaborating with UNEP, will be working with UNEP as an implementing partner to develop policies and actions for the building sector in Asia. This new partnership project aims to provide countries in Asia with support to develop national plans and frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their building sectors. The project is part of the International Climate Initiative supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
"Buildings are responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions every year. With emerging countries in Asia experiencing strong construction growth in response to rapid urbanisation and economic growth, we foresee a precipitous increase in greenhouse gas emissions. This projects aims to help Asian countries mitigate the harmful effects of climate change, cut emissions, and set sustainable development goals," said Dr Arab Hoballah, Chief, Sustainable Consumption and Production, United Nations Environment Programme.
The concept of NAMAs dates to 2007, when the Bali Action Plan was adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to "nationally appropriate mitigation actions by developing country Parties in the context of sustainable development, supported and enabled by technology, financing and capacity-building, in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner."
BCA CSB is a joint initiative between UNEP and the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA), formed in 2011. Capitalising on the project and its existing work in Southeast Asia, BCA CSB will play a major role in the region to help develop capabilities and support the development of recommended policy interventions and actions to be included in potential NAMAs developed by the four regional Asian countries - Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
"As Asia continues to embark on the green building movement, this collaboration has proven to be more critical. BCA CSB hopes to bring Singapore's experience as well as other relevant experiences to this project to drive greater energy efficiency in buildings in Asian countries. This effort will establish a strong regional support network to enable continued development of mitigation actions, creating a legacy beyond the project lifespan itself. BCA will strive to grow the BCA CSB into a hub for green buildings in the region and contribute to the global efforts of reducing carbon emissions from buildings," said Dr John Keung, Chairman of BCA Centre for Sustainable Buildings.
The project, "NAMA Development for the Building Sector in Asia" will commence by identifying and evaluating actions for the four regional countries. Subsequently, UNEP and BCA CSB will assist countries to develop building sector mitigation actions which may lead to formal NAMAs, provide measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) tools, and create an overall framework to support NAMA development by these countries, including a regional support network for building sector-specific mitigation actions.
Using UNEP's Common Carbon Metric (CCM), a protocol for measuring energy use and reporting greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, BCA CSB will work, under the overall coordination of the UNEP core team, with other implementing partners in the project - including the UNEP Regional Office for Asia and Pacific in Bangkok, the UNEP-RISOE Centre near Copenhagen, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi - to establish baselines and measure progress in emission reductions in the regional countries.
Sustainable Building 2013 Singapore (115KB .pdf)
Portable document format version of the media release is also available (233KB .pdf)