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GlobalABC Report Launched: Adopting Decarbonization Policies for the Buildings and Construction Sector

GlobalABC Report Launched: Adopting Decarbonization Policies for the Buildings and Construction Sector


The newest report by the GlobalABC “Adopting Decarbonization Strategies in the Buildings and Construction Sector” brings the latest evidence-base for the cost and benefits of key building sector climate policies. Acknowledging data limitations particularly in developing countries, the review of the existing literature shows evidence of the benefits of taking these actions outweighing the costs of their development and implementation.


On 11 June, the GlobalABC held a webinar to launch the report, presenting its key findings and bringing experts from Germany, Australia, Indonesia to present their buildings climate action and correlated impact. The World Business Council on Sustainable Development also presented on the importance of policy signals to spur market transformation. Collectively, the presentations outlined the pathway to adopting decarbonization policies across the sector and how it demands a “whole of government” approach: ministries must work together with national and local government and in consultation with the private sector, all the more given the highly fragmented value chain of this sector.

Key insights of the report
Source: GlobalABC launching webinar presentation - key insights of the report

In this webinar, the spectrum of voluntary to mandatory measures are also explored, with mandatory measures more effective, but voluntary measures presenting a good starting point. Building codes must be performance based, clear and feasible. They must accompany a dual strategy that focuses on new construction and renovation to propel the sector to become Paris-compliant. Lastly, the webinar highlighted the power of positive examples, and particularly the building of prototypes of efficient buildings that are tailored to local contexts, to demonstrate feasibility and inspire replication. By speaking a common language and adhering to a common metric, we can harness the opportunity presented to us and invigorate behavioral change across the entire value chain. 

One interesting finding presented was that decarbonization policies were particularly successful if they had a strong social motivation, particularly harnessing benefits for health, comfort, and a potential to boost the economy through job creation.

Performance-based building codes can effectively create value and impact in a context, where two thirds of countries currently have no building codes in place, and most of the housing deficit being prevailent in the very same countries, alongside projections of the highest shares of the newbuilt developments. In the current context of COVID-19, which highlighted the importance of adequate housing and preparedness for emergencies, the buildings and construction sector is a prime area for green economic stimulus. It is even more evident that there is a great opportunity to raise ambition in the buildings and construction sector that must not be missed. 

Watch the recording of the webinar: 


Read the report here.