10 Key steps to decarbonise the construction industry

By Leila Steed16 August 2021

Global ABC inforgraphic ©Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction 2021

The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) has published a report that identifies 10 key measures that national, subnational and local governments need to incorporate, in order to move forward with efforts to decarbonise the building sector.

Global ABC, which connects governments, private sector and civil society organisations, aims to “drive the transformation towards a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector”.

Its “Decarbonizing the Building Sector – 10 Key Measures” report provides senior officials and decision makers with guidance on how and where to start incorporating vital policy, planning and procurement changes and strategies.

Endorsed by the UN Environment Programme and publicised by the European Construction Industry Federation, the report highlights actions that are deemed essential to helping all countries lower their carbon emissions. 

According to the report, “meeting the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels, requires global decarbonization of the building and construction sector”.

It said that “net-zero carbon emissions must be achieved across the overall built environment life cycle by no later than 2050” and that in order to achieve this governments must integrate decarbonization strategies and policies into their Nationally Determined Contributions.

While the report does not provide a “comprehensive strategy”, the measures it outlines are designed to help governments, local authorities and construction sector organisations achieve net-zero targets.

10 Essential steps to decarbonise the construction industry
  1. Establish and implement an ambitious energy code for buildings

  2. Support the use of integrated design

  3. Promote deep energy renovation

  4. Lead by example by decarbonizing public buildings

  5. Use energy information and behaviour change to drive energy efficiency

  6. Promote financing for energy efficiency

  7. Enable easy access to information on the carbon footprint of materials

  8. Develop public procurement policies that incentivise materials with low carbon footprints

  9. Integrate nature-based solutions into urban planning, buildings and construction

  10. Develop integrated resilience strategies and plans for the built environment

With the recently released “Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis” research report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - which shows that human activity has accelerated climate change to a point where some of it is now irreversible - continuing to generate headlines globally, Global ABC’s report is now garnering greater attention, since its was release in early July, 2021.

To download the “Decarbonizing the Building Sector – 10 Key Measures” report from Global ABC, click here.

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