Canadian Consulting Engineer

VIDEO: ASHRAE addresses climate change at COP26

November 11, 2021

"We are ready to help policymakers and the buildings industry around the world." - Ginger Scoggins, P.E.

Ginger Scoggins

ASHRAE treasurer Ginger Scoggins, P.E., spoke at a special COP26 side event.

ASHRAE formally participated at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland, as a non-governmental organization (NGO) and official observer.

The heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) association co-hosted a side event with Architecture 2030 yesterday (Nov. 10) to help emphasize the importance of the building industry’s involvement in addressing climate change. Titled ‘65% by 2030 / ZERO by 2040: Top 200 Global Firms and Organizations Lead With 1.5°C Climate Actions,’ it highlighted ways in which signatories to the 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué are responding with specific actions to decarbonize the built environment and meet Paris Agreement targets (see video below).

The communiqué is an open letter to government leaders to demonstrate the commitment of more than 60 engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, planning and construction firms and 12 industry organizations—representing more than 1 million building industry professionals around the world—to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 C ‘carbon budget’ and to demand they do the same.

“We are here today because engineers and scientists involved with HVACR and building systems have been—and will continue to be—advancing solutions to address climate change,” said ASHRAE treasurer Ginger Scoggins, P.E. “We recognize the built environment is contributing to the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. With building stock continuing to expand, doubling by 2050, solutions are ever more critical.”


In particular, Scoggins offered ASHRAE’s technical resources toward the development of global, consensus-based standards.

“Our flagship Energy Conservation Standard 90.1 has been a key basis for codes and standards around the world for more than 45 years, reducing consumption by 50%, yet only 38 countries have specifically named building standards and codes in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs),” she explained. “Many countries where building stock is expected to grow do not require energy standards for buildings. We are ready to help policymakers and the buildings industry around the world transform our stock to be sustainable, resilient and healthy. We are up to the challenge.”

In a separate statement, ASHRAE president Mick Schwedler, P.E., commented on participation in COP26 and shared additional ways the society is addressing the climate crisis.

“Our efforts exemplify engineering excellence in environmental stewardship,” he said. “The ASHRAE global headquarters (HQ) building renovation project demonstrates net-zero energy cost-effectively, using current off-the shelf technologies. Our advanced energy design guides, developed with our partners, equip designers to achieve zero-energy and significantly reduce carbon for schools and office buildings. ASHRAE is proud to work with world leaders to not only raise awareness of the issues surrounding climate change, but also to collectively redefine the built environment for the times and continually explore what is possible through industry-leading innovation.”


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