Architects oppose US withdrawal from climate agreement
AIA reaffirms commitment to climate change mitigation
The American Institute of Architects (AIA), reaffirming its ongoing commitment to climate change mitigation, has announced it is opposing the administration's decision to withdraw the United States as a signatory to the Paris Agreement and is enlisting the help of architects worldwide to meet the climate treaty's goals—with or without the support of the United States government.
That accord, signed in late 2015 within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), commits the international community to fighting harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
"The United States must remain a leader in the battle to cease harmful and needless practices that damage the planet and its climate, acting out of both environmental concerns and national economic interests," said AIA President Thomas Vonier, FAIA, in a press statement. "Instead of helping our economy, as the Administration contends, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will put us behind our major global competitors."
"We will also urge our members throughout the United States and the world to assist cities, states, organizations and citizen groups in meeting the aims of the climate accord," Vonier added.
The International Union of Architects (UIA) issued a statement of support for AIA's opposition to the US exit from the climate accord.
"The landmark Paris Agreement maps the way to a sustainable future," said Esa Mohamed, UIA President. "We are doing our part and will carry on. That is the underpinning of the 2050 Imperative, adopted by the International Union of Architects at its World Congress in Durban, South Africa. This 2014 accord commits the world architecture community to implementing carbon efficient design strategies and renewable systems."
Vonier said that AIA will not retreat from its long-established efforts to conserve energy and to deploy renewable resources in buildings. "We will continue to lead in efforts to curb the use of fuels and technologies that needlessly pollute our atmosphere and harm our environment," he said. "This makes good sense economically, and it is in the best interests of those we serve: our clients and the public."
"By adhering to our values as a profession that is concerned with human habitat and the health of our environment, we will help to mitigate the harm this decision will do to our economy and to America's stature across the globe."
John Schneidawind is director of public affairs and media relations for AIA.
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