UN-HABITAT and Partners Recognize Local Governments for Green Building

5 December 2011: The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability have announced the winners of the Government Leadership Awards for excellence in green building and climate action at the local level. The awards promote best practices to be replicated across cities, and encourage the use of green buildings as a strategy to reduce carbon emissions.

It is estimated that buildings account for one-third of global carbon emissions and 40 percent of global energy usage. Building labeling and auditing impacts alone are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 105,000 tons, with a 10-year net present value of approximately US$1 billion.

Award recipients include: the city of San Francisco, US, for the San Francisco Green Building Ordinance in the category of Best Green Building Policy; Mexico City, Mexico, for its Climate Action Plan as well as its global leadership on the Mexico City Pact (Global Cities Covenant on Climate) under the category for Climate Action Leadership Award; Birmingham, UK, for Birmingham City Council's Energy Savers Programme under the Urban Retrofit Award; Singapore, for its Green Building Masterplan under the category Regional Leadership Award; New York City, US, for its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan under the category of Industry Transformation Award; and Tokyo, Japan, for the Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Program under the category of Most Groundbreaking Policy Award.

Winners were chosen by an expert panel of judges comprised of ICLEI-International, UN-HABITAT and the WorldGBC. The awards ceremony was held on 5 December 2011, on the sidelines of the 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban, South Africa. [WorldGBC Announcement]