By joining the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, we recognize that the buildings and construction sector can make a significant contribution to achieving the goals set in the fight against climate change, including the common global goal of keeping global warming below 2°C.
The buildings and construction sector is an economic powerhouse. It represents more than 50% of global wealth. The sector also offers one of the most cost-effective and economically beneficial paths for reducing energy demand and associated emissions while at the same time supporting adaptation and resilience.
The buildings and construction sector is responsible for nearly 40% of energy related global CO2 emissions. This figure is growing rapidly and could reach 50% of CO2 emissions by 2050. This rise increases risks and the vulnerability of countries, regions and local communities to the impacts of climate change. Rapid urbanisation, especially in emerging economies will accelerate this impact.
Buildings are also the result of investment processes involving many actors. To progress, it is essential to involve all partners in the value chain and to provide clear performance and monitoring criteria throughout the development cycle, including the construction supply chain. According to the Global Status Report 2018, investments in energy efficiency in buildings seem to slow down in 2017. Realizing the potential of the building and construction sector to achieve sustainable development objectives and avoid an inefficient building stock requires global efforts. The global average energy intensity of buildings per unit floor area needs to be at least 30% lower than current levels so that the International Energy Agency's (IEA) sustainable development scenario, which aims to limit the increase in global average temperatures to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2030, can be applied.
Many solutions are available, and the economic, health, and social benefits of sustainable buildings are significant, and have been demonstrated in most regions of the world. With early and efficient policies, the buildings and construction sector should therefore be more fully engaged in climate commitments.
Governments, major building and construction networks stakeholders, potential funders, and existing support initiatives, collectively committed to helping to put the buildings and construction sector on the well-below 2 °C path have therefore come together to form the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC).
The GlobalABC aims at mobilizing ambitious levels of international resources for efficient local operational solutions, aligning existing initiatives, commitments and programmes to achieve greater scale, and catalysing greater pace and impact of climate action in the buildings and construction sector. The first Buildings Day, which took place at COP21 on 3 December 2015, provided an opportunity to launch this unprecedented alliance.