UN Symposium Addresses Green Buildings

Scientists, economists, politicians and bankers from around the world will converge in Pennsylvania this week with a singular goal – to reduce carbon emissions worldwide through sustainable building practices. The United Nations Environment Programme Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative Symposia will be held Thursday and Friday at the T.C. Chan Center.

The T.C. Chan Center, located on the University of Pennsylvania campus, is dedicated to connecting the professional and academic worlds towards energy-efficient, sustainable building design.

“It’s the mixture of politicians, economists and scientists -the group itself – that is so exciting about this event,” said Ali Malkawi, Ph.D. founder and director of the T.C. Chan Center, in a recent phone interview with us.

Via T.C. Chan Center

Malkawi said there has been a growing interest in sustainable building practices over the years. Tackling climate change had initially been a cause taken up by academia and scientists, but now it has become a viable economic issue for investors and bankers alike.

“Now, a very important pillar in this story, as the solution, is from the point of view of making sure loans are available, looking at the savings, the initial costs and the economical side that is reflected by the policy and backed by science,” Malkawi said.

The symposium will include a combination of technical reporting presentations with strategic panels discussing policy partnerships. Sessions will look at the latest technologies being used and showcase the best examples of sustainable building from Asia, Europe and South America.

The policy sessions will be linked to specific cities to show how municipalities are using green technologies, and highlight the barriers to deployment and how policies can foster energy efficient strategies.

“The outcome of the event is for recommendations that feed into the larger U.N. meeting,” Malkawi said. “The intention is to lower carbon emissions worldwide.”

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.