By joining the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, we recognize that the buildings and construction sector needs to make a significant contribution in the fight against climate change, including to achieving the Paris Agreement goals of keeping global warming well below 2°C. Indeed, the buildings and construction sector is the sleeping giant in the battle against climate change.
The buildings and construction sector is an economic powerhouse representing 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 supporting adaptation and resilience. Sustainable building investment represents one of the biggest global investment opportunities – an estimated $24.7 trillion by 2030, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR) shows that CO2 emissions from the building sector are at the highest ever recorded, with the sector being responsible for 38% of energy-related global CO2 emissions (approximately 13.5 billion giga tons of carbon dioxide – GtCO2). As global building stock rapidly grows, there is urgent need to take advantage of the short window of opportunity to advance climate actions across the whole life cycle of the buildings and construction sector. The choices made today will last for decades. Through radical stakeholder collaboration, the whole building lifecycle must be addressed, from building materials through operations, addressing adaptation and resilience of the built environment.
Buildings are 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 2020 Buildings-GSR, the rate of annual improvement is decreasing and moving the sector away from achieving decarbonization: The new Buildings Climate Tracker (BCT) points to a need to increase decarbonisation progress by a factor of 5 to achieve net-zero by 2050.
There are, however, many solutions available. Indeed, the economic, health, and social benefits of sustainable buildings are significant, and have been demonstrated in many regions of the world and the decarbonisation potential of this sector is immense. Using tools like the GlobalABC regional roadmaps for buildings and construction which bring a set of comprehensive policy and technologies targets and timelines, in conjunction with early and efficient policies, the buildings and construction sector can be successfully and 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) which was launched at in 2015 at COP21.
The GlobalABC aims at mobilizing global ambition and solutions towards a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction. Concretely, our objectives are:
- Being a global advocate for the importance of the sector for global climate action, providing a common language for discussion among decision makers and being a catalyst for action by leading actors in the buildings and construction sector.
- Providing a neutral and trusted platform to set targets for decarbonisation, track progress, track action and share knowledge and good practices.
- Providing key measures for countries to adopt, helping them set priorities in their own strategies, based on their situation, e.g. using the GlobalABC regional and national roadmap process.