Incorporating fundable buildings sector Green House Gas (GHG) emission mitigation actions in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
National Climate Plans mention buildings, but very few building sector actions specify mitigation targets and those that do only cover about 60% of building-related GHG emissions. To be on a below 2-degree pathway, actions must include targets to move to carbon neutral or net-zero energy building performance and the potential co-benefits, jobs, comfort, resilience, of these actions must be highlighted to illustrate the positive impacts of building sector mitigation actions for people, planet, and economy.
The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction has just released its first edition of 'A Guide for Incorporating Buildings Actions in NDCs,' designed to address the urgent need for further extending the scope and ambition of building sector actions in NDCs and based on input received from GlobalABC country members and beyond.
Reducing the carbon intensity of the buildings and construction sector would go a long way towards meeting current and future mitigation goals, as what we build today will lock in our emissions pathway, both through energy efficiency standards and the embodied carbon of our modern construction materials.
The coverage and ambition of National Climate Plans, or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as they relate to the buildings and construction sector must increase. The buildings sector currently contributes to 39% of global energy-related annual GHG emissions and final energy demand from buildings is expected to increase dramatically, about 50% by 2050, compared with 2015 levels under business as usual scenarios due to rapid urbanization and the doubling of the built surface area.
Three priority target action areas identified by the GlobalABC will help transform today’s building stock which tends to be polluting, energy-intensive, and vulnerable, into one that’s zero-emission, efficient, and resilient: increasing the scope of existing building regulations to include diverse building types; increasing energy performance standards; and integrating building sector actions with urban land-use planning to increase mitigation opportunities by integration.
This guide is designed to address the urgent need for further extending the scope and ambition of building sector actions in NDCs, the opportunities for aligning with commitments made by non-party actors, and the renewed support for successively increasing ambition and implementing actions of NDCs. This guide targets decision-makers in the buildings and construction sector and national governments to have the tools and resources necessary to scale up building sector actions across countries and across supply chains.
The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) and the United Nations Environment Programme gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) of the Federal Republic of Germany.