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Approaching COP26

Tomorrow the UK will host COP26 (the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties) in Glasgow. Arguably the world’s most important annual climate-focused gathering.

In this newsletter we take a quick look at ‘What is COP26?’  delving into what it is, what's involved, and why it's so important to all of us here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Also, adding to our list of environmentally friendly building products, we look at a frequently specified flooring material - OSB, or Oriented Strand Board.

We hope you enjoy the read and find the content useful.
Feel free to let us know your thoughts and above all, take care of each other and stay healthy!

October 2021

Duncan Sinclair - 027 487 7766
In this Issue:
Approaching COP26
What we can expect from this year's summit?
OSB - Oriented Strand Board
Not all OSB is created equal.

Approaching COP26
What is ‘COP26’?
COP stands for ‘Conference of The Parties’.
‘The Parties’ are over 200 countries who signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was established in 1992.
Each year ‘The Parties’ gather to monitor and review the implementation of the framework.
This year will be the 26th time they’ve met and the gathering will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.
(Image: COP26)

Why is this gathering such a BIG deal?
At COP21 (in Paris in 2015) the monumental ‘Paris Agreement’ was signed.
The agreement called for action to:
A/ limit global warming to well below 2 degrees (aiming for 1.5 degrees);
B/ adapt to the impacts of a changing climate; and to
C/ make money available to deliver on these aims.
Each signee created their own Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) list, actions they would make to fulfil their part in the plan.
The agreement was monumental, because EVERY country signed it. 
They also agreed to update their NDC plans every five years. 
COP26 will be the very FIRST update.

(Image: COP21 in Paris)
Things are not going so well (…classic kiwi understatement here).
Scientific assessment reports show that actions taken so far are not coming close to helping us meet the agreed targets.
In fact, they recommend we will have to take significantly greater actions and that our window of opportunity is quickly closing. The actions we take this decade, are critical.
So what are the goals for COP26?
There are FOUR key Goals for COP26:
1/ Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
- Accelerate the phase-out of coal
- Curtail deforestation
- Speed up the switch to electric vehicles
- Encourage investment in renewables
2/ Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
- Support countries affected by climate change, enabling them to
- Protect and restore ecosystems
- Build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives
3/ Mobilise finance
- Developed countries must support developing countries.
- International financial institutions must unleash private and public sector finance required to secure global net zero.
4/ Work together to deliver
- Finalise the Paris Rulebook
- Accelerate action through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.
Paris set the destination – Glasgow must make it a reality.
(Image: Flooding in New Zealand’s Buller District)
Why is this all so important to us here in Aotearoa New Zealand?
Well, it’s not about ‘saving the planet’ so much as keeping it habitable for humans.
Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, we experience climate change in a number of ways, including: Unprecedented sea temperature rise; more severe droughts; more regular and more severe storms and flooding; more frequent wild fires; receding glaciers; contaminated water; rising sea levels eroding coastal urban & rural environments, fish number and habitat change; increasing number of species becoming endangered or extinct; climate derived stress adding to political, environmental and social instability.
Given that in the grand scheme of things, we’ve collectively only recently arrived on these islands, it seems a shame to have to give it all up so soon because of our own stupidity.
The way forward is to radically change the way we inhabit this beautiful planet, it’s too good to waste.
Let’s work together and commit to regenerating the natural systems that support life.
Are you with us?

Black Pine's Carbon Measure
To hold ourselves accountable and inspire you, we include our office's monthly carbon reading with every newsletter! 

The month of September is
0.03 tCO2e

These graphs below indicate the office's cumulative carbon emissions and monthly usage respectively.

OSB - Oriented Strand Board
Creating healthy environments is the highest priority for us and our clients, so we are continuously looking for the healthiest, toxin-free materials we can find.

That includes the materials used as substrates for our finishes – healthiness should be ‘baked in’ to the bones of a building’s design.

Today we look at OSB (Oriented Strand Board) - a standard and frequently specified building material - and the environmentally conscious options available.

Click on the link below to  read further in our dedicated article.

Imagine a building that is as efficient as a flower; a simple symbol for the ideal built environment.
The Living Building Challenge is organized into seven performance areas, or Petals.
In our newsletters, different items are identified with the relevant Petal, helping to place it in context.

From Tara, Duncan, Akshaya and Emma
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Black Pine Architects · PO Box 7204 · Whanganui, 4541 · New Zealand

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