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Proposed Organization for SBE Roundtables

All SBE event organizers have been asked to provide room in their agendas for a climate change roundtable. We have now changed the name of this conference segment to SBE Roundtables, reflecting the fact that these events are expected to include issues related to sustainable construction as well as climate change. We have also avoided using the name Regional Roundtable, since that name is being used by UN Environment and GABC for their events.

We have received generally positive responses from most SBE event organizers, but it is clear that some guidance on the organization and content of such events will be useful. This short document attempts to provide such guidance.


The intent of these events is to provide a session that will provide a focused view of high-level climate change and sustainability issues that may be relevant to the built environment in the region. Themes covered should include anticipated climate change impacts in the region and possible counter-actions, Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs) offered by the region or country, sustainability issues in the regional built environment. We suggest that specific topics covered should be organized according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (S

DGs) that have been identified by the organizers of WSBE20 as the most relevant for the SBE series. However, our review of the SDGs indicates that they are much more meaningful at the second level of detail (targets and indicators), rather than the top level, and we suggest that this should be followed. Please refer to the excerpt below of Targets and Indicators for SDG 11.


The Roundtable events may be part of the main agenda or be planned as a side session or as a pre- or post- conference session, and will require 1/2 day of time.

Suggested format

We suggest that the Roundtable format be taken literally, e.g. the 10-12 active participants (see list below) seated a circular or tables arranged in a square, with spectators seated in remaining areas. We advise against seating the active participants on a podium, as this creates a gap between the audience and the roundtable members, which impedes a free flow of discussion. To further promote a free interchange of ideas, the two main presenters on climate change and sustainability should be limited to a maximum of 3 to 5 minutes to state their opening arguments.

We suggest that the following participant types should be invited:

* a moderator
* a student scribe
* one expert in regional climate change issues relevant to the built environment
* one expert in regional sustainability issues in the built environment
* senior government policy representative(s)
* representative(s) of investment organizations
* representative(s) of design and construction sector
* representative(s) of real estate sector
* a representative of the SBE series partners
* a representative of UN Environment, if available
* a representative of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC)
* other conference delegates as space permits

We suggest that the two invited experts should be asked to prepare a short paper in advance of the event that provides an outline of issues relevant to his/her area of expertise. We also propose that all participants in the round table should be asked to complete a simple input form that covers aspects related to the two main issues*.

Possible model agenda

The following model agenda is provided as one that could be the basis for an agenda for your individual event (if afternoon, modify as needed)

08:45 Welcome and introduction to key participants (moderator)
09:00-09:30 Presentation on possible climate change impacts in the region, and
proposed counter-actions.
09:30-09:45 Q&A and discussion
09:45-10:15 Presentation on issues related to sustainability in the built
environment in the region, and proposed actions.
10:00-10:15 Q&A and discussion
10:15-10:45 Coffee break
11:00-11:20 Contributions by UN Environment and GABC, if possible.
11:20-12:10 Regional delegates provide their views related to their professional
expertise, all related to regional issues.
12:10-12:30 Summary of discussion provided by moderator.

 SBE Roundtable outcomes

We suggest that outcomes of all individual Roundtables should be reviewed by SBE partners, and that a summary report should be submitted to the organizers of the WSBE23 in Montréal, a form that allows all results to be shown in accordance with the SDG organizational structure.