Urban Green CEO John Mandyck and World Green Building Council interim CEO Cristina Gamboa.
I’m thrilled to announce a new partnership between Urban Green and the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), a global organization that represents 68 national green building councils. Together, we’re creating a hub for the exchange of the world’s best green building ideas to accelerate climate action in cities.
New York City can achieve its goal to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050, but it won’t be easy. Paradigms will be challenged and reinvented. Billions of dollars will be invested. And we’ll need innovative approaches like Urban Green’s Blueprint for Efficiency. But even if NYC does everything exactly right, climate change will still pose a severe threat if the rest of the world doesn’t act. As we begin this massive transformation in NYC, we must work in concert with other cities and share innovative ideas and solutions.
Urban Green will share policies that are scalable and take a closer look at WorldGBC priorities, including their Advancing Net Zero initiative. We’ll foster communication and collaboration through an international webinar series, and host a joint event in NYC during Climate Week this fall.
As the effects of climate change move from theory to reality, the urgency for action has never been greater. I’m reminded of 16-year old Greta Thunberg from Sweden, who organized a global student movement on climate change. She said to world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos this year: “Adults keep saying: ‘We owe it to the young people to give them hope.’ But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.” Greta and her generation will be left with the decisions we’re making right now.
As an environmental organization based in NYC, we have a tremendous responsibility to set a global example, learn from other cities, and disseminate the best solutions. The WorldGBC partnership is an important first step in addressing this urgent need.