Oslo and Heidelberg Commit to Make New Buildings “Net Zero Carbon” by 2030

Regulations and planning policy will also target existing buildings to make them net zero carbon by 2050 to ensure cities deliver on the highest goals of Paris Agreement.

Oslo and Heidelberg join 23 other cities committed to C40’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration

London, UK (17 September 2019) — Today, The Governing Mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen, and Lord Mayor of Heidelberg Eckart Würzner, committed to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from their cities by ensuring that new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030. 

By signing C40’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration Oslo and Heidelberg also commit to ensure all buildings in the city, old or new, will meet net zero carbon standards by 2050. They join 23 other cities including Cape Town, Copenhagen, Durban, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Medellin, Montreal, New York City, Newburyport, Paris, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Seattle, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Tshwane, Vancouver and Washington D.C., in making the pledge.

Net zero carbon buildings use energy ultra-efficiently and meet any remaining energy needs from renewable sources. Such action will be essential to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5°C and avoid global climate breakdown. 

Oslo and Heidelberg announced their commitment ahead of the C40 World Mayors Summit, taking place in Copenhagen, Oct 9th-12th. 

Buildings in urban areas are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and typically account for over half of a city’s total emissions on average. In London, Los Angeles and Paris, buildings account for well over 70% of the cities’ overall emissions, creating an enormous opportunity for progress on bringing emissions down. Currently, half a million people die prematurely each year due to outdoor air pollution caused by energy used in buildings. 

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration was first launched in September 2018 and many signatory cities have provided an update on their progress to date, detailed in this report.

Mayor of Heidelberg, Dr. Eckart Würzner, said: 
“Heidelberg is already leading in the movement towards net zero buildings by constructing all new municipal buildings with the world leading standard in energy efficiency - Passive House Standard - significantly reducing the need for conventional heating and air conditioning. The Passive House standard is also implemented in the new city district Bahnstadt and the development of the former military areas. Energy supply with renewable district heat and electricity makes the district Bahnstadt Net Zero Carbon Buildings.’

The Governing Mayor of Oslo, Raymond Johansen, said: 
“Production of electricity in Norway is based on close to 100% renewables. Still, we can do more. In Oslo, new nursing homes and kindergartens will be built as energy plus houses, and certified at the highest standard available. They will produce more electricity than they consume. And for our existing buildings, we will invest in energy efficiency, and develop local energy production wherever possible.”

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