Medellín, Colombia, June 10, 2015—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Switzerland’s State Secretariat
for Economic Affairs (SECO) praised the approval of the new sustainable
construction decree in Colombia, an initiative led by the Ministry of Housing,
Cities, and Territory that will promote efficiency in water and energy
use in new buildings which has been supported by IFC, Swiss Embassy in
Colombia-SECO, and the Colombian Association of Construction Firms (CAMACOL).
The new decree, announced on Friday by Housing Minister Luis Felipe Henao
Cardona, will promote efficiency through the balanced use of resources
in new constructions, leading to a 15 percent savings in water and energy
use in the case of commercial buildings, and a 10 percent savings in the
case of residential buildings during its first phase of implementation
which will start on June 2016. The decree represents an important
step in the sustainable development of cities in Colombia and in the dynamism
of the construction sector.
The measure, which in addition has received private sector support through
CAMACOL, is also one of the first sustainable construction decrees in the
region to ensure that the new regulations are practical to apply by the
construction sector. IFC’s assistance with the design of the new regulatory
framework is part of a national program for green construction supported
by SECO under Switzerland’s economic cooperation program for Colombia.
“By making a commitment to transition toward sustainable or low-carbon
development, Colombia is one of the pioneers of the region,” noted Housing
Minister Luis Felipe Henao Cardona, who added that “in fact, the country
is a member of AILAC, a group of developing nations that seeks to lower
carbon emissions in their respective countries, given their view that climate
change mitigation and sustainable development offer an opportunity for
growth and the prevention of natural events, which all countries will have
to address in the future.”
The Swiss Ambassador to Colombia, Kurt Kunz, expressed his satisfaction
over the issuance of the decree, as “it represents a concrete step toward
the sustainable development of cities. Through its economic cooperation
program, Switzerland has supported and will continue to support the efforts
of the Colombian Government to implement its green growth strategy.”
Kristtian Rada, the head of the IFC Latin American cities program, pointed
out that “the importance of this decree lies in the fact that the measures
adopted will have an impact on the environment and the quality of life
of citizens. The inclusion of different energy and water savings measures,
as a country strategy, paves the way for mitigating the impact of climate
change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the construction sector.
This will help promote sustainable cities in Colombia.”
This initiative is part of the World Bank Group’s overall program to help
with the development of sustainable construction codes in Colombia, Indonesia,
Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Vietnam, among others.
Latin America is the most urbanized region in the world, with 80 percent
of its population living in cities. Global studies have shown that the
construction sector accounts for the use of 45 percent of energy, 17 percent
of potable water, linked to water use in buildings, and 25 percent of carbon
dioxide emissions. Against this backdrop, regulations to improve
efficiencies in the construction sector will make a significant contribution
to the development of the region’s cities.
Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) handles all
key issues related to Swiss economic policy. Through its Economic
Cooperation and Development Division, it seeks to integrate partner countries
into the global economy and to promote socially responsible and environmentally
friendly economic growth.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and
influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives
in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.