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2021-04-28
Buildings and Construction: a key sector for climate action

A key sector for climate action, buildings and construction is not on track. Driving down emissions will entail: aggressively reducing energy demand in the built environment, while decarbonizing the power sector and implementing materials strategies that reduce lifecycle carbon emissions. In this brochure, you will find key data, key messages and further readings about the buildings and construction sector.

2019-11-01 | GlobalABC Secretariat
COP26 pavilion

A brochure on the buildings and real estate pavilion

2021-02-03
Buildings and Climate Change Adaptation: A Call to Action

This report is the first output of the GlobalABC “adaptation” working group (see appendix methodology), launched at COP24 in Katowice. During the Global- ABC meeting in Rabat in October 2018, the representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco and GlobalABC members expressed their mutual wish to see the challenges of climate change adaptation and the benefits of initiatives in the real-estate, building, and construction sector (referred to in this report as the RBC sector) be put in the spotlight, as up until now they have not been given due attention. The report was coordinated by the Green Building Observatory (OID, Paris) with the support of the French Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Climate change is regarded as the major issue that humanity will face this century. Extreme weather events and failure to implement climate-change mitigation and adaptation actions are the two greatest risks that the global economy will face in terms of their likelihood and impact, according to the World Economic Forum (2019).

The built environment is particularly at risk from climate change, and as such so are the people living and working within buildings. Governments and all actors along the buildings and construction value chain therefore need to take action, as climate risks pose a real threat to the lives and economic activities of people. Buildings as long-term assets should be resilient to climate change, and also to other future risks such as pandemics and potential behavior changes.

The report is divided into: 

PART 1: Why Does Adapting Buildings to Climate Change Matter?

The first section of the report deals with global challenges regarding adaptation of the built environment: definitions and relevance, macro-economic impacts (costs of adaptation vs non-adaptation) as well as the strong links between adaptation and mitigation in the RBC sector.

 

PART 2: Adapting the RBC Sector to Climate Change

The second section highlights ongoing and necessary changes in the RBC sector to better integrate adaptation challenges: processes based on the building lifecycle, risk assessments, regulatory frameworks and stakeholder engagement, i.e. creating an enabling environment for change. This section introduces concrete actions to this end.

 

PART 3: Frameworks of Action

The third and most important section presents a framework for suggested action for key actors in the RBC sector. It summarizes specific challenges faced by each actor in adapting buildings to climate change and identifies the current global state of their practices along with recommendations for each stakeholder group in order to improve the adaptation of buildings to climate change. The action plan was informed by surveys and interviews held with relevant stakeholders and has been reviewed by sectoral organisations. Five challenges and five recommendations are presented, selected in order to focus on the most critical issues.

 

Download now the full report or the specific sections below! 

2021-01-06 | ULI
The ULI Blueprint for Green Real Estate

Real estate organizations recognize the strong business case for incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into their normal business operations with the increasing public focus on climate change and its impacts, new policies affecting building energy performance, and pressure from investors. In addition, strong returns from utility savings, tenant demand, new opportunities to access capital, and other value-creation opportunities are spurring investment in sustainability and energy efficiency.

Building on the leading sustainability work that Greenprint member organizations have been implementing since 2009, this Blueprint is for real estate owners and investors looking to develop or accelerate a sustainability program, and developers looking for ways to integrate sustainability into their overall development strategy.

2020-12-18 | Judit Kockat (BPIE) Sheikh Zuhaib (BPIE) Oliver Rapf (BPIE)
A methodology for tracking decarbonisation action and impact of the buildings and construction sector globally

Background and objective
This paper develops a methodology to track decarbonisation in the buildings and construction sector
worldwide. A set of individual indicators is used to identify trends in decarbonisation action and
impact. The methodology is based on the OECD approach for developing composite indicators1 and is
applied to data collected from the existing GlobalABC Global Status Reports and other sources to
create the Buildings Climate Tracker or ‘decarbonisation index’, a composite indicator. The approach
and methods are described, discussed and extended in this paper.


Objective of the tracker
The primary objective of the tracker is to show the efforts made towards – and the impact of –
decarbonisation of buildings worldwide, using suitable and reliable data aggregated in a transparent,
consistent and continuous way.
In the context of the tracker, the definition of the term “decarbonisation” and its measurement go
beyond mere observations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reflect the efforts made by
policymakers, governments, regulators, industries, and other key institutional and regional actors
towards the decarbonisation of the building and construction sector globally.


Scope of the tracker
The Buildings Climate Tracker focusses on the decarbonisation of buildings worldwide. In its current
state it considers indicators related to building construction, use and renovation, but it excludes the
demolition phase and social indicators such as living conditions or housing shortages.
While the focus is on the climate change mitigation of the building sector (i.e. reduction of CO
2
emissions or energy savings), the tracker also contains information about adaptation and resilience to
climate change. Some measures such as building codes incorporate and address all three aspects – i.e.
mitigation, adaptation and resilience – by outlining the requirements for new and existing buildings
to face current and future risks accordingly.

 

2020 Buildings-GSR
2020-12-16
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).

While the total final energy consumption of the global buildings sector remained at the same level in 2019 compared to the previous year, CO2 emissions from the operation of buildings have increased to their highest level yet at around 10 GtCO2, or 28% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. With the inclusion of emissions from the buildings construction industry, this share increases to 38% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. The slightly lower proportion of buildings emissions compared with the 39% seen in 2018 was due to the increases in transport and other industry emissions relative to buildings.

2020 Buildings GSR
Sources: (IEA 2020d; IEA 2020b). All rights reserved. Adapted from “IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances” and “Energy TechnologyPerspectives".

Authors: Dr. Ian Hamilton and Dr. Harry Kennard from University College London (UCL) and Oliver Rapf, Dr. Judit Kockat and Dr. Sheikh Zuhaib from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), with support from Thibaut Abergel and Michael Oppermann from the International Energy Agency (IEA), and support from Martina Otto, Sophie Loran, Nora Steurer and Natacha Nass from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC)

 

 

 

2020-10-05 | Think20 (T20)
Financing Energy Efficiency of Buildings: Green Instruments and Policy Guidance

Abstract

Despite ongoing efforts, there continues to be a significant investment gap in building energy efficiency (BEE). Given the limited public resources, targeted green finance instruments can help bridge this gap. However, mainstreaming green finance is fraught with several challenges, including the lack of a global taxonomy and incoherent policy guidance. In this policy brief, we first propose improving national BEE standards, especially in the developing members of the G20, and to reduce differences between the national and global standards, which can significantly contribute to establishing a global taxonomy of green finance for BEE. Next, we propose a more focused and progressive implementation of the G20 Tokyo Declaration with systemic policy action, aligning fiscal and financial policy priorities with low-carbon energy transition goals that can catalyze the development of green finance.

 

Authors

  • Fatih Yilmaz - King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC)
  • Nawaz Peerbocus - King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC)
  • Rishikesh Ram Bhandary - The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Fang Zhang - Harvard Kennedy School, The Fletcher School
  • Kelly Sims Gallagher - The Fletcher School
  • Venkatachalam Anbumozhi - Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia
  • Kaliappa Kalirajan- Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

 

Stimulus programme for green buildings
2020-09-23 | GlobalABC Work Area Finance/ Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (PEEB)
Stimulus programmes for green buildings – best practice examples

Green buildings vs. the crisis

Stimulus programmes for green buildings – best practice examples

 

Green building stimulus programmes can boost a Green Recovery after Covid-19.

Please find the recording of our webinar here.

The construction sector is essential for an economic recovery after the COVID-19 crisis. It can rapidly create large amounts of jobs and involves far-reaching value chains of small and large businesses. At the same time, the building sector presents a massive – and largely unused – opportunity to respond to the climate crisis. The building sector holds the potential for a double win: For small extra investments, green buildings can achieve massive long-term savings of cost and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Governments successfully used green building programmes to help recover from the 2008 financial crisis.

In 2020, governments are looking for ways to respond to the economic crisis that followed the Covid-19 pandemic, with economic stimulus packages worth trillions of dollars. To “build back better”, we need green recovery programmes. Stimulus programmes for the building sector can boost a Green Recovery, with massive benefits for jobs, the economy, and the climate.

The GlobalABC’s Work Area on Finance group has collected examples of green building programmes that can serve as an inspiration for stimulus programmes for the building sector. These case studies show key features of programmes and their benefits. These examples are aimed at governments and investors, including development banks, other public and private banks, and real-estate financing.

The response to the crisis as an investment in the future

Green building programmes are excellent value-for-money. For some of the programmes collected, extensive evaluations have been conducted and published, and benefits are provided with the example. Benefits include:

  • High energy and CO2 savings
  • Job creation
  • High private sector leverage
  • Health benefits through better homes
  • Socio-economic benefits through savings on energy bills
  • Macro-economic benefits through savings on energy subsidies

Many programmes help to introduce more ambitious standards for national building codes, by demonstrating the technical and financial feasibility of green buildings.

 

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Successful Blueprints for Green Building Programmes Exist

Green building programmes stimulate investments into green buildings, through financial incentives that compensate for the extra cost involved in reaching higher standards, either through renovation or for new construction. The programmes collected all use financial incentives to stimulate investments, that is loans or grants. They use financial incentives to make up for the slightly higher investment cost of green housing equal that leads to cost savings at a later stage. Programmes that provide non-monetary incentives, for example height bonuses or property tax incentives, have not been included.

Successful green building programmes are tailored to the local context. The programmes use various instruments, or a mix of them, targeting different groups, for example: 

  • green mortgages to households
  • bridging loans to developers
  • grants to homeowners or housing associations
  • concessional loans to developers or housing associations

Some of these programmes were supported by development finance institutions. Technical support was sometimes included to support private sector and public institutions in the introduction of higher technical standard

 

Green buildings programmes

 

GlobalABC webinar on 23 September 2020 discussed how to use successful green building programmes as a blueprint for green recovery programmes, as well as possibilities for financing them.       

Presentations (click on name to download): 

 

 

2018-12-01
2017 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT FOR BUILDINGS AND CONSTRUCTION
GlobalABC

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.

2020-07-09
The Building System Carbon Framework
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The built environment is responsible for almost 40% of the global energy and process-related CO emissions. To meet the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to 1.5°C, we need to reach net-zero emissions across all activities in the building and construction system. The goal is for all new buildings to operate at net-zero emissions by 2030 at the latest, and for all buildings to operate at net zero by 2050.

This report proposes a new framework that can be used as a common language for carbon emissions, by all actors across the built environment. Using a common metric and a full life-cycle approach, the WBCSD Building System Carbon Framework facilitates collaboration across the value chain, where common solutions can be developed and implemented to help achieve system decarbonization.

It is neutral on materials and solutions, bridging embodied and operational carbon, which is a vital prerequisite for reaching net zero in the built environment. The framework also enables each user to identify the best emissions-reduction strategies for their part of the value chain and allows the stakeholders to make informed decisions based on clear and transparent information. 

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