Washington, D.C. November 30
, 2015 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) today issued the following statement as leaders of nearly 200 nations converge in Paris for COP21, formerly known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Please attribute the statement to AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA:
“When our board adopted our position statement on resilience in 2014, we saw this as a call to action for architects to address issues of climate adaptation in their practice. Architects welcome the COP21 talks as a way to make sure that the role buildings play in sustainability is forefront in the delegations’ minds.
“Residential and commercial buildings account for almost 40 percent of both total U.S. energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Meanwhile more and more architects globally are making the commitment to design sustainable buildings, according to the AIA 2030 Commitment report, a voluntary initiative by architect firms to commit their practice to advancing the AIA’s goal of carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030.”
“Unfortunately, just as COP21 commences, the U.S. House of Representatives may vote as early as this week to abolish energy conservation requirements for new and existing federal buildings. These requirements have kept the United States in a leadership position when it comes to achieving carbon neutrality goals in buildings by 2030.
“As we have said before – and will say again - the AIA stands ready to support legislation that keeps energy conservation goals for the federal government and positions the United States as a leader globally in conserving resources. But we will continue to oppose legislation that only encourages use of fossil fuels at great cost to the environment.”
About The American Institute of Architects
ounded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders, and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.