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2022-05-05 | Naomi Keena, Jonathan Duwyn, Anna Dyson
Biomaterials Supporting the Transition to a Circular Built Environment in the Global South
Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture

Building construction materials represent 11% of global carbon emissions and 28% of the annual buildings related CO2 emissions, and yet, the demand for construction materials continues to grow, especially in the rapidly urbanizing Global South. Biomaterials offer a key opportunity for decarbonizing the buildings and construction sector, through transitioning from current linear, extractive, and toxic construction practices towards circular, bio-based, renewable materials and construction methods for a sustainable future. While this transition has the potential to drastically reduce both the need for natural resources and the carbon footprint of urban growth, policy intervention is required to enable the sustainable development of biomaterials, contributing to 10 of the 17 SDGs.

Yale Center for Ecosystems in Architecture (Yale CEA) and UNEP are launching a new report entitled “Biomaterials Supporting the Transition to a Circular Built Environment in the Global South”. The report explores the transformational socio-economic and environmental impacts that an accelerated transition to a bio-based, circular material economy could have, particularly for the Global South.

Download the report here.

2022-03-28
Decarbonising Buildings in Cities and Regions
OECD

Accounting for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions and sometimes as much as 70% in large cities, buildings and construction are central to the low-carbon transition. Decarbonising buildings, especially the old stock, through energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy use, not only reduces carbon emissions, but also generates co-benefits in health, energy affordability and the labour market. Additionally, global mega-trends and the transition to a green recovery from COVID-19 provide impetus for stakeholders to take action. Cities and regions have a key role to play and can leverage prerogatives in regulation, public procurement and stakeholder engagement, while addressing multiple governance, capacity and funding gaps. To accelerate and scale up their action, cities and regions need to work with national governments to create an effective governance mechanism. Drawing on the findings of a dedicated survey of cities and regions of all sizes from both OECD and non-OECD countries, this report explains their significant role, explores sub-national policy measures, identifies key obstacles, and provides policy recommendations and a checklist for both national and subnational governments to drive the decarbonisation of buildings in cities and regions.
 

Download the report here!

2022-02-11 | UNFCCC, GIZ, PEEB, BPIE
Compendium on GHG Emissions Baselines & Monitoring: Buildings sector Versions
UNFCCC secretariat

This volume on the building and construction sector provides an overview of the different sources of GHG emissions from the building and construction sector, as well as methodologies for quantifying these emissions to feed into the preparation and reporting of national GHG inventories. By better understanding the sources of emissions over the whole life cycle of buildings, it thus provides guidance on the most appropriate and effective mitigation strategies and policies for decarbonizing the building and construction sector based on national circumstances. We are optimistic that the guidance contained in this volume will be of some help to developing country Parties to make informed choices when setting building and construction sector emission reduction targets; implementing climate change mitigation actions and reporting on them in their national communications,biennial update reports and in future, biennial transparency reports.

2022-01-24 | BPIE
Implementing the Paris Agreement and reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of buildings: European public policies, tools and market initiatives
BPIE

The built environment offers significant carbon mitigation potential: decisive policy action will not only address the ongoing climate emergency we are facing, but will also directly reduce energy costs and improve security of supply, and has the potential to create widespread business opportunities and significant numbers of new, local jobs. Based on this context, the study presented in this report was developed at the request of the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) within the framework of the Specific Partnerships for Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA). This report discusses policies, tools and market initiatives aimed at reducing upfront emissions – that is, the embodied carbon associated with building construction, including the extraction and processing of materials.

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2022-01-20 | BPIE
EPBD Recast: New provisions need sharpening to hit climate targets
BPIE

This policy briefing finds that the European Commission’s December 15th EPBD recast proposal does not yet reflect the crucial role the EPBD should play within the Fit for 55 Package and within the greater narrative of securing energy independence. While it is welcome that many provisions are either introduced or open for modification, they will not deliver on the Directive’s objectives if the ambition is not set at the right level, and if measures are not made more stringent and coherent.  Ultimately, the scope of the EPBD recast proposal is incomplete, as the updated 2050 vision for the building stock only considers the operational phase of emissions from buildings. The long-term vision is also unbalanced, with a focus on reducing operational greenhouse gas emissions mainly through a full switch to renewables, while the “energy efficiency first” principle is not reflected in the outlined provisions. With the legislative process starting, there is now an opportunity to ensure the final Directive is improved and fully aligned with the EU 2030 and 2050 climate and energy efficiency objectives.

Read the policy briefing

2021-11-18
Guide to Green Retrofit
Sintali

Find out how to decarbonise your existing buildings at scale in a quantifiable and verifiable way to meet your net zero targets.

Download the guide now!

2022-01-26 | Zsolt Toth, Jonathan Volt, Sibyl Steuwer
Roadmap to climate-proof buildings and construction – How to embed whole-life carbon in the EPBD
BPIE

Background: Climate change action is time critical. There is an immediate need to focus policy and market actions on emission reductions across the entire life cycle of buildings as these are very quickly using up the remaining carbon budget left before the tipping point of an irreversible climate crisis. This provides a compelling reason for policymakers to address all sources of carbon emissions from the buildings and construction sector, including both embodied and operational carbon – together referred to as “whole-life” carbon (WLC) emissions. Reducing embodied emissions is a global challenge that offers significant carbon reduction potential. Some countries in Europe (one of the leading regions addressing this challenge) have introduced policies to reduce whole-life carbon emissions from buildings and construction, with further national and EU-level initiatives expected in the near future. The ongoing review of key policy and legislative files provides a significant opportunity for the EU to begin consistently integrating WLC in the policy framework. About this roadmap: This roadmap for integrating WLC in the policy framework primarily focuses on the pending review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) but also makes links to the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). The cornerstones of how to fully decarbonise the European Union’s building stock along its entire lifecycle must be laid now. Member States but also private actors need guidance and security to direct investments and set the framework to steer the required actions and trigger innovation. Considering the next revision is only planned by end of 2027, the time to get this right is now. BPIE's new roadmap sets out the necessary steps to introduce WLC considerations and align the provisions of the EPBD with climate-neutrality goals.

2022-01-17 | Ivan Jankovic, Armin Mayer, Dan Staniaszek, Xerome Fernández Álvarez
Ready for carbon neutral by 2050? Assessing ambition levels in new building standards across the EU
BPIE

This BPIE report provides a close examination of six EU focus geographies shines a spotlight of wide-ranging discrepancies between EU countries in their approaches towards building sector decarbonisation, both in terms of consistency regarding the definition of ‘NZEB’ as laid out in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), and in terms of overall ambition levels.

2022-01-14
The Adaptation Imperative for Buildings
PEEB

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.

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