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2021-11-11 | GlobalABC, RMI, UK BEIS, Scottish Government
Nations Launch Clean Heat Forum

Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom: Today a group of nations, companies, and organizations announced the launch of a global collaborative effort to accelerate the adoption of clean heating solutions for buildings. The Clean Heat Forum will be launched under the UNEP-hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), a global platform with over 200 members, including 34 countries. The platform unites all stakeholders along the buildings and construction value chain towards a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector. The GlobalABC is the home for international action on building decarbonization and resilience. Heating with fossil fuels is responsible for a large share of direct greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which in turn accounts for around 9% of global energy-related emissions.

While we have clean heating solutions – like highly efficient heat pumps, district energy solutions, deep retrofits, and better building design – at our fingertips, adoption has lagged and these solutions remain inaccessible to many. By bringing public and private sector leaders together, the Clean Heat Forum will fill a critical gap, enabling participants to co-create and share best practice policies, standards, and public engagement strategies to reduce one of the largest sources of climate-disrupting air pollution. Accelerated deployment of efficient and clean heating technologies, appropriate building design, and associated solutions will also help reduce health and energy burdens, increasing prosperity and creating more employment.

The UK Government’s Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility, Lord Callanan, said:

Decarbonising heating remains one of the most significant challenges for reaching net zero emissions – but also provides major opportunities in reducing local air pollution and creating highskill jobs. To help countries overcome the barriers for decarbonising heat, greater collaboration will be required so policymakers can share best practice, scale markets for clean heating and energy efficiency solutions across multiple countries, and better facilitate private sector partnerships. It is for this reason that we launch the Clean Heat Forum, under the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction today.

Scotland’s Zero Carbon Buildings Minister, Patrick Harvie, said:

Emissions from buildings are a global challenge – whether from heating them in a cold country like Scotland, or keeping them cool in hotter parts of the world. We want to work with other likeminded countries to tackle these challenges head-on – working together on the important technical, financial, and regulatory issues needed to transform the world’s building stock. I am delighted that, during COP26, we deepened our long-standing partnership with Denmark, signing a new Memorandum of Understanding deepening our collaboration on heat and energy efficiency. We must work together to tackle climate change, which is why I am proud that Scotland has now become a founding member of a broader alliance of like-minded governments, industry, and civil society in the Clean Heat Forum, alongside others such as Germany and Denmark. We encourage other countries to work with us in a shared endeavour to tackle common challenges in the decarbonisation of heat across the world.

Dennis Holte Skov-Albertsen, Country Coordinator for the Danish Energy Agency (DEA), said:

At the Danish Energy Agency we are working with energy authorities across the world, sharing experiences and best practices along the lines of green transition of energy systems. Therefore it feels natural for DEA to support the creation of the heating alliance working across borders on decarbonisation of the heating sector. In other words the objectives of the heating alliance very much fit our DNA and what we are promoting on a daily basis – together we can achieve more, do it better, and hopefully get to the end goal faster.

Jules Kortenhorst, CEO of RMI, said:

This unique alliance emerges at a time when creative, collaborative climate solutions are more critical than ever – particularly for challenging sectors like buildings. Accelerating the global transition to clean, efficient heating is essential for meeting climate commitments and ensuring healthy homes and workplaces for all.

Clem Cowton, Director of External Affairs at Octopus Energy Group, said:

Clean heat solutions like heat pumps are more efficient, safer, and better at warming our homes than fossil fuels. With industry and governments collaborating through the Clean Heat Forum we can turbocharge global investment to scale products and infrastructure and ensure a heat pump can be as cheap as a new gas boiler within the next couple of years. There’s no time to waste in reducing the world’s reliance on expensive, dirty forms of heating. Let’s get on with the job.

Richard Sedano, CEO at the Regulatory Assistance Project, said:

The global heat transformation requires a transformation of energy policy and governance as well. RAP is pleased to contribute our policy network and expertise to help the Clean Heat Forum reach its goal of widespread clean heating.

Initial members include:

  • UK Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy
  • Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany
  • German Energy Agency
  • Ministry Of Energy & Mineral Resources, Jordan
  • Directorate for Energy and Climate Change, Scottish Government
  • Danish Energy Agency
  • City of Prague
  • RMI
  • REN21
  • KT-Energy LLC
  • E3G
  • RAP
  • EHPA
  • Octopus Energy Group

Download the press release here.

2021-11-11 |
Accelerating deep collaboration: 26 built environment climate action initiatives announced at COP26

Marking a climate breakthrough for the built environment, a coalition of business and government groups announce 26 climate action initiatives at Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day at COP26, including:


Why cities, regions and the built environment matter

Buildings are responsible for almost 40 percent of global energy-related carbon emissions and 50 percent of all extracted materials. By 2050, 1.6 billion urban dwellers will be regularly exposed to extremely high temperatures and over 800 million people living in more than 570 cities will be vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal flooding.

By 2060:

  • - The world’s building stock will double and almost 70 percent of the global population is projected to live in urban areas.
  • - Global material use is expected to more than double and a third of this rise is attributable to materials used in the building and construction system.

The built environment’s demand on natural resources accelerates climate change, and inefficient, unhealthy buildings negatively impact human health and wellbeing. However, efficient buildings are one of the biggest investment opportunities worth an estimated $24.7 trillion by 2030. Despite this, less than $3 of every $100 spent on new construction goes to efficient buildings.

While around a third of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) make reference to actions on buildings, many of them fall short of the level of ambition to drive the required — and achievable — performance levels. And some countries that expect growth over the coming decades do not have energy codes. This will result in buildings being built today that do not meet the necessary standards for today's or future climates.

Built environment is vital to halving emissions by 2030

A collaboration between the UN High Level Climate Champions, the COP26 Presidency and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the #BuildingToCOP26 Coalition, Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day at COP26 brings together national, regional and city level leaders, alongside the private sector, to deliver deep collaboration that can accelerate climate action over the next decade. To mark this dedicated day, 26 game-changing built environment climate initiatives were announced.

The announcements send a clear signal to policymakers and the private sector that the built environment is vital to halving emissions by 2030 and limiting global heating to 1.5℃:

  • - The built environment must be prioritised as a critical climate solution

    Almost 40 percent of global emissions come from buildings and construction through their lifecycle, and buildings are responsible for almost 35 percent of final energy demand.
  • - We need faster and bolder government action, solutions and pathways to help drive change

    Cities, regions and private sector frontrunners are already raising ambitions and accelerating progress but to fully realise the sector’s ambitions, they need an enabling regulatory framework and access to financing.
  • - We must rapidly accelerate deep cross-sectoral collaboration

    This is critical for achieving the needed market transformation towards a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient built environment at scale and at pace.


How cross-sectoral collaboration is starting to accelerate

The #BuildingToCOP26 Coalition — a group of business and government networks focused on sustainability in the built environment — united around shared climate goals for the built environment system, developed through the UNFCCC Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action Human Settlements and Resilience Pathway, highlighting the built environment as a critical solution provider to the climate crisis:

  • - By 2030, the built environment should halve its emissions, whereby 100 percent of new buildings must be net zero carbon in operation, with widespread energy efficiency retrofit of existing assets well underway, and embodied carbon must be reduced by at least 40percent, with leading projects achieving at least 50 percent reductions in embodied carbon.
  • - By 2050, at the latest, all new and existing assets must be net zero across the whole life cycle, including operational and embodied emissions. (UNFCCC Human Settlements Pathway).


  • - In parallel to decarbonisation targets, building resilience into the transformation of the built environment is critical to support urban populations and vulnerable communities in the face of future climate impacts. (UNFCCC Resilience Pathway).

The Coalition represents tens of thousands of businesses, governments and civil society organisations across the world and their alliance signals accelerated, deep collaboration across the entire built environment value chain:

  • C40: Representing 700+ million citizens and one-quarter of the global economy, C40 convenes 97 of the world’s greatest cities to take bold climate action, leading the way towards a healthier and more sustainable future.
  • - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) represents over 200 members from over 50 countries, including 34 national governments, covering over 62 million km2 and almost 1.5 billion people. GlobalABC and its members work towards a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector, accelerating built environment climate action commitments that cover over 6 million km2 of area.
  • - The Resilience Shift: Partnered with Resilience First, the global business resilience membership network of over 600 organisations, Resilience Shift is the global hub for resilience accelerating an urgent shift to a more resilient future. Resilience Shift includes a community of interest across the globe that reaches over 700 organisations.
  • - World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD): Representing a network of companies with a combined revenue of more than USD $8.5 trillion and 19 million employees, WBSCD is a CEO-led organisation accelerating the transition to a sustainable world.


  • - World Green Building Council (WorldGBC): Representing over 70 Green Building Councils and their 36,000 members, the WorldGBC network catalyses the uptake of a sustainable built environment for everyone, everywhere and their members have certified 3.5 billion m2 of area.


Download full press release here.

2021-10-19 |
Pandemic caused dip in building emissions, but long-term outlook bleak – UN report

Nairobi, 14 October 2021 – The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic caused CO2 emissions from buildings and construction to fall significantly in 2020, but a lack of real transformation in the sector means that emissions will keep rising and contribute to dangerous climate change, according to the 2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction.

The report, published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), finds that in 2020, the sector accounted for 36 per cent of global final energy consumption and 37 per cent of energy related CO2 emissions, as compared to other end use sectors.

While the level of emissions within the sector are 10 per cent lower than in 2015, reaching lows not seen since 2007, this was largely due to lockdowns, slowing of economies, difficulties households and businesses faced in maintaining and affording energy access and a fall in construction activity. Efforts to decarbonize the sector played only a small role.


Download the full report here:

2021-10-06 | Architecture2030
Building Industry Leaders to World Governments: It's Time to Lead on Climate

More than 60 of the largest and most influential international architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, planning, and construction firms, collectively responsible for over $300 billion in annual construction, along with two dozen organizations representing over one million building industry professionals worldwide, issued a Communiqué to government leaders headed to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) challenging them to step up their emissions reduction targets for the built environment. The firms and organizations are signatories of the 1.5oC COP26 Communiqué — an open letter to sovereign governments demonstrating the firms' and organizations' commitment to meet the Paris Agreement's 1.5ocarbon budget and demanding governments do the same.

Read more about this here.

2021-09-07 |
#BuildingToCOP26 Coalition accelerates climate action ahead of Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day at COP26

Following the sobering message from the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, a coalition led by C40, the Global Alliance for Building and Construction (GlobalABC), The Resilience Shift, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) announce #BuildingToCOP26 — a partnership to promote radical collaboration for climate action ahead of the Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day at COP26.

The #BuildingToCOP26 Coalition — a group of business and government networks focused on sustainability in the built environment — are coming together for the first time to spotlight the built environment's potential in accelerating climate action.

Working with the UN High Level Climate Champions, the COP26 Presidency and the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Coalition’s efforts will culminate on 11 November at the COP26 Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day, which will rally awareness, action and collaboration among all stakeholders in the
built environment.


Download the full press release below. 

2021-02-24 | BPIE
Retail real estate needs Paris-Proof decarbonisation strategy to ensure contribution to global and EU emissions targets, the Buildings Performance Institute Europe says

Download the full report HERE!

According to the 2020 Buildings Global Status Report, the buildings and construction sector accounts for 35% of final energy use and 38% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally. The new report by the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) shows that the retail real estate (RRE) sector will have to play a major part in achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.


The report is a status quo analysis of existing policy and market approach to climate change actions and strategies relevant to the RRE sector, and represents the starting point for developing a common vision and language on how to decarbonise the sector. It aims to identify relevant policy and market developments that can inform tailored recommendations to industry players and policy makers in order to be in line with the Paris Agreement.

The report consists of three main sections:

  • A review of existing EU legislation that impacts the decarbonisation of the sector.
  • An overview of market initiatives including metrics and targets, definitions of zero-carbon buildings and other tools available to the RRE community that could provide critical pointers towards the appropriate level of ambition in terms of low-carbon performance.
  • A discussion of the key issues and challenges related to carbon measurement, setting targets, and developing and implementing mitigation strategies.


Download the Press Release now. 

2020-12-16 | GlobalABC
2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction is a reference document of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC). The fifth edition of this annual snapshot of the progress of the buildings and construction sector globally towards the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, particularly on the drivers of CO2 emissions and energy demand globally and the status of policies, finance, technologies, and solutions that support a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector. This year’s Buildings-GSR features input from over 110 GlobalABC members and experts from all regions: a true collaborative effort, building a global community. This year’s Buildings-GSR shines a light on the disruptions of COVID-19 and some of the responses in 2020, and includes a snapshot on emerging key issues: materials, nature-based solutions, health, and cooling for resilience. It also introduces a new index to track progress in decarbonisation in the sector – the Buildings Climate Tracker (BCT).

Click here to download the press release.

2017-11-12 | GABC secretariat

GSR was released by Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, at the International conference “Energy efficiency in buildings: how to accelerate investments”, one the fringe of the One Planet Summit in Paris, on 11th dec 2017, and in presence of Mr Sergio Bergman, minister of Environment, Argentina.