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2021 Buildings GSR

2021 Buildings Global Status Report 

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction asks the central question ‘Is the buildings and construction sector on track to meet the Paris Agreement Goals?’ It tracks global progress on key indicators for energy use, emissions, technologies, policies, and investments globally.

Download the previous editions:



Global Roadmap for Buildings and Construction


Global Roadmap for Buildings and Construction

The Global Roadmap for Buildings and Construction helps set pathways to decarbonization of the buildings and construction sector by 2050. Developed as a framework and a process, they present a comprehensive approach to emission reductions from the built environment along the full life cycle, with aspirational short and medium term and longer-term targets and timelines towards achieving zero-emission, efficient and resilient buildings and construction between 2020 and 2050.

This document builds on the Global Roadmap towards Low-GHG and Resilient Buildings. Click below to download it:


Below, you can download all three Regional Roadmaps: Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

Africa Roadmap


Asia Roadmap


Latin America Roadmap



From the GlobalABC Work Areas

adaptation paper

Buildings and Climate Change Adaptation - A Call for Action

Adopting Decarbonization Policies for the Buildings and Construction Sector

Adopting Decarbonization Policies in the Buildings and Construction Sector - Costs and Benefits 

NDC guide

A Guide to Incorporating Buildings Actions in NDCs 

Decarbonizing the Building Sector - 10 key measures

Decarbonizing the Building Sector - 10 Key Measures


WBCSD MT levers

Market Transformation Levers for a Net-Zero Built Environment

10 principles for effective action

Adaptation of the Building Sector to Climate Change: 10 Principles for Effective Action


The Adaptation Imperative for Buildings

Buildings – our homes, schools, offices - are at risk from extreme climate events such as floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts, soil erosion or wild fires. Developing countries and poorer populations, which are more exposed and more vulnerable to disasters, are disproportionately affected by climate change. Among the 100 fastest growing cities in the world, 84 are already at an extreme risk from climate change. Failure to adapt buildings can threaten socio-economic development. Yet, adaptation of the building sector remains largely unaddressed.

PEEB’s new briefing, the Adaptation imperative for Buildings, demonstrates the importance of implementing climate adaptation and mitigation in tandem to address current climate threats and avoid worst future impacts. Synergies between mitigation, adaptation and development goals in the building sector are numerous: passive cooling, flexible design, local materials, nature-based solutions or water conservation can both improve the resilience of buildings and reduce their environmental impact while increasing quality of life and local employment. These synergies must be brought to wider global attention in order to scale up action.

With over 10% of all investments worldwide, development banks can play a major role in scaling up low-carbon and resilient buildings by raising awareness, setting new standards and building capacities. The briefing presents a set of recommendations and case studies to help development banks mainstream climate adaptation and mitigation across their investments in partner countries.

2021-12-28 | ADEME
La climatisation dans le bâtiment

Les marchés de la climatisation ont connu au cours des dernières années une croissance soutenue qui a conduit à une progression constante des taux d’équipement. Pour les ménages, l’enquête réalisée à l’été 2020 a constaté un taux d’équipement de 25%. Dans le secteur tertiaire, toutes activités confondues, la proportion de surfaces climatisées est évaluée à 40 %, avec de fortes variations entre les différents secteurs.
Cet essor de la climatisation s’accompagne de la montée de la problématique de son impact environnemental. En effet, les équipements de climatisation agissent sur le climat au travers de leurs consommations énergétiques et via les émissions de GES des fluides frigorigènes chargés dans les équipements.
Les évolutions technologiques permettent d’envisager une amélioration du bilan environnemental des équipements et systèmes de climatisation. Mais la prise de conscience des utilisateurs, les conduisant à privilégier un usage raisonné des systèmes, constitue indéniablement une priorité pour les prochaines années. Augmenter la température d’ambiance dans un local climatisé, limiter l’usage de la climatisation aux périodes de fortes chaleurs et adopter les «bons gestes» conduisent immédiatement à des réductions très importantes des consommations énergétiques associées à ces systèmes.

Embodied Carbon - A hidden heavy weight for the climate

10% of emissions from energy come from building materials and construction. We need to rethink how we construct our buildings. From resource-efficient designs with a longer lifetime, circular economy approaches and “urban mining” to increasing the market share of alternative building materials and decarbonising conventional materials like cement and steel, the solutions are there.

This PEEB Working Paper summarizes the key facts on embodied carbon, and presents practical strategies during planning, design and construction, as well as for building materials.  To promote action on embodied carbon, it lays out how policy and financing can address this. 

2021-12-17 | Sepehr Foroushani, Rob Bernhardt, MarkBernhardt
On Use Of The Reference Building Approach in Modern Building Energy Codes

This paper On Use Of The Reference Building Approach in Modern Building Energy Codes has just been published in Energy & Buildings.  Although the data used in the study is for homes in British Columbia, Canada, the use of the reference building approach to code compliance is widespread in Canada, the US and Australia in addition to being permitted by some rating systems in those countries and New Zealand. The findings of the study illustrate the importance of using outcome based, whole building performance metrics to achieve policy goals, as recommended by GlobalABC, the UN Framework Guidelines and other sources.

Established practices die hard, even when they fail to deliver results. The use of the reference building approach continues in Canada and elsewhere, with Canada planning to continue its use in the national model ‘net-zero ready’ building code for 2030. Please note, as explained in the paper, the phrase ‘reference building’ has a different meaning in the EU context, enabling the EU to avoid the performance gap identified in this paper.

2021-11-08 | ADEME, Resallience, French Ministry of Ecological Transition
Adaptation of the Building Sector to Climate Change: 10 Principles for Effective Action
GlobalABC Adaptation Working Group

UN Secretary-General calls latest IPCC WG1 Climate Report a ‘Code Red for Humanity’, stressing ‘irrefutable’ evidence of human influence, and that “climate impacts will undoubtedly worsen”.

Data collected over the recent decades shows that the climate is currently changing at an unprecedented pace due to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since 2007, as shown in the latest IPCC report1. Climate change will have especially severe consequences all over the world for a built environment designed for steady conditions and for the communities that inhabit them. Understanding these consequences will require the use of projected climate data from RCP models on different spatial scales and several time horizons.

Therefore, GlobalABC is proposing “10 Principles for Effective Action” to policy 2 makers and practitioners to join forces and spread climate change adaptation actions in the building sector and willing to track annual progress.

To support these 10 Principles please contact the GlobalABC Adaptation Working Group at

Download the 10 principles below!

Underpinning the role of One-Stop Shops in the EU Renovation Wave - First Lessons Learned from the Turnkey Retrofit Replication

BPIE published a report in the framework of the H2020 project Turnkey RetrofitUnderpinning the role of One-Stop Shops in the EU Renovation Wave - First Lessons Learned from the Turnkey Retrofit Replication.

This report discusses the replicability of the renovation journey and highlights 12 key recommendations for how the European Commission can support an effective roll-out of one-stop shops across the European Union.

Find more information and the full report here !