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In endorsing the foundation of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC) during the "Building Day" at COP21 in Paris-Le Bourget on 3 December 2015, we acknowledge that the buildings and construction sector can contribute significantly to achieving climate mitigation efforts and to the common objective of limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

Common Statement

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 CO2 emissions while at the same time supporting adaptation efforts and resilience.

The buildings and construction sector is responsible for about one-fourth of global CO2 emissions. This figure is growing rapidly and could reach 50% by 2050. Such a rise increases the risks to and vulnerability of countries, regions and local communities regarding climate change impacts. Rapid urbanisation, especially in emerging economies, accelerates this impact. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), moving to a well-below 2°C path requires reducing the building and construction sector’s energy consumption by at least 30% through means of mainstreaming highly energy-efficient new buildings and deep renovation of the existing building stock by 2050.

Buildings are the result of investment and production processes involving numerous players. To make progress, it is essential to engage all partners along the entire value chain, and to provide clear performance criteria and monitoring over the entire life cycle and supply chain of the buildings and construction sector. In addition to financial pledges already made, this requires additional public and private investment to the amount of around $US 11,500 billion over the period of 2015 to 2050. By 2050, such investment could result in energy cost savings exceeding this investment by more than 100%.

Many solutions are available. The economic, health, and social benefits of sustainable buildings are significant, and have been demonstrated in many regions of the world. Through well-designed policies introduced early-on, the buildings and construction sector can make crucial contributions to climate commitments. COP21 provided an important opportunity to highlight this, giving greater visibility to stakeholder’s engagement, to buildings and construction initiatives underway, and to demonstrating how they provide important triggers for action.

In jointly forming the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC), governments, major building and construction networks, potential donors and existing support initiatives, as well as many other stakeholders collectively committed to putting the buildings and construction sector on a path to contribute significantly to a well-below 2 °C scenario. The GABC will help mobilise international resources for effective local solutions, align and communicate existing initiatives, commitments and programmes to achieve greater scale, and catalyse greater pace and impact of climate action in the buildings and construction sector.

Common Global Objectives

  1. Communicate: Raising awareness and engagements in order to make visible the magnitude of the opportunities and impacts in the buildings and construction sector, define sectoral climate goals and promote transparency and information exchange.
  2. Collaborate: Further enabling actions on public policies and market transformations to achieve existing climate commitments, through implementing partnerships, sharing technology and know-how, and improving deal-flow and facilitate access to efficient financing and funding.
  3. Solutions: Offering programs for further ambition and locally adapted solutions that firmly put the buildings sector on a below 2 °C path: increasing efficiency of buildings systems and envelope, mainstreaming low GHG materials, low-emission new buildings and scaling up deep renovation.