On June 1, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) published a press released reaffirming its commitment to continue working towards a better and greener environment. Due to current presidential administration, which decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, the AIA President Thomas Vonier, FAIA expressed the following:
“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. Instead of helping our economy, as the Administration contends, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will put us behind our major global competitors.”
“The 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. This makes good sense economically, and it is in the best interests of those we serve: our clients and the public.
“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. 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.”
What is the Paris Agreement?
The Paris Climate Accord, known as the Paris Agreement, is an international agreement reached in 2015 aimed to reduce carbon emissions in order to reduce global temperatures and climate change effects. Although the deal requires countries to set their own targets to reduce emissions by 2020, the Obama administration established the goal to reduced 26 to 28 percent by 2025. More than 170 countries signed the agreement including China, which, along with the US, account for nearly 40 percent of the global carbon emissions.
With or without an “green” agreement, as architect in training or professional architects, we design thinking about the right approach to satisfy the needs of a space’s user which ends up applying sustainable principles. Part of our practice is to design and protect the health and welfare of the public which is to build while promoting the protection of the environment and our surroundings. Our profession will continue to work in accordance to our principles and ethics and take the correct decision for the good of the environment, the general public and the science and art of architecture.