The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is sending a delegation of architects to participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) for the third consecutive year. The delegation will convene with UN officials, US policymakers, NGOs, and AEC industry leaders in Dubai starting this week. 

Architects are committed to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and that extends to protecting our communities from the devastating effects of climate change. Architects have real solutions utilizing holistic design thinking and the AIA presence at COP28 ensures architects are at the table for tackling the most pressing issues. AIA will continue to push for climate action to drive down carbon emissions from the built environment and lead the work on integrated design solutions for equitable & resilient zero-carbon communities. The delegation includes:  

  • Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA, AIA 2023 President 
  • Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE, AIA EVP/Chief Executive Officer    
  • Illya Azaroff, FAIA, AIA At-Large Director 
  • Dr. Erika Eitland, Director of Human Experience (Hx) Lab and public health scientist, Perkins & Will 
  • Li Ren, AIA, Project Architect, Perkins Eastman 
  • Stephanie Kinnick, Director of Operations, Gensler Middle East 
  • Vicky Schneider, AIA Strategic Advisor   
  • Lisa Ferretto, AIA, AIA Sr. Director, Climate Action & Design Excellence   
  • Derek Washam, AIA Sr. Director, Global & Industry Engagement    

In addition to establishing and bolstering partnerships with policymakers and industry partners, AIA will lead a UNFCCC Side Event titled “Design Thinking, Global Standards, & Integrative Solutions for a Net Zero Built Environment.” This event led by AIA and in cooperation with ASHRAE, Royal Institute of British Architects; Australian Forestry Products Association; and IVL Swedish EPD International will focus on design-thinking and consensus-based standards for design, operations, and accountability across a building’s lifecycle to decarbonize the built environment.   

“AIA and its delegation are eager to attend COP28. Being here ensures the voice of architects is heard in the global conversation about urgent climate change. Buildings are currently responsible for 40 percent of carbon emissions,” said Emily Grandstaff-Rice, 2023 AIA President. “In bringing together US and international allies across the built environment in Dubai, architects are leading with urgency to decarbonize, improve public health, and give the world the best chance to meet the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold.”

Visit AIA’s website to learn more about its efforts at COP28