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Fostering collaboration: Buildings Breakthrough

Buildings Breakthrough: “near-zero emission and resilient buildings are the new normal by 2030”

Breakthrough Agenda context

At COP26 in November 2021, 45 world leaders, whose governments collectively represent over 70% of global GDP, launched the Breakthrough Agenda, aiming at strengthening international collaboration on decarbonizing high-emitting sectors (Transport, Power, Hydrogen, Steel, and Agriculture) and making clean technologies and sustainable solutions the most affordable, accessible and attractive option in all regions by 2030.

Under this Agenda, leaders agreed to review progress annually and explore priority international actions needed to accelerate the Breakthroughs, informed by an annual independent expert report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and UN High-Level Champions. The inaugural Breakthrough Agenda Report 2022 was published in September 2022.

Buildings Breakthrough context

At the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June 2022, it was announced by Mr. Stéphane Crouzat, French Climate Change Ambassador, that France and the Kingdom of Morocco would co-lead a Buildings Breakthrough Target, with the support of other willing governments. The governments of France and the Kingdom of Morocco reaffirmed their co-leadership of the target at the 13th Clean Energy Ministerial and 7th Mission Innovation (CEM13/MI·7); at the 2022 UN General Assembly; and at the COP27 Breakthrough Agenda Ministerial on 11 November 2022.

On 17 November 2022, during the event titled "A call for a Buildings Breakthrough as a rallying point" held at the COP27 Buildings Pavilion, the co-leading countries, together with the UK High-Level Climate Champion, the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) Executive Director, and multiple high-level country and initiative representatives, joined forces issuing an official call to all countries to join the Buildings Breakthrough to accelerate the transition to sustainable buildings for everyone everywhere.

On 6 December 2023, the Buildings Breakthrough was officially launched at COP28 UAE. 



Buildings Breakthrough target

Near-zero emission and resilient buildings are the new normal by 2030.

Explanation of terms

  • New buildings and deep renovation are both concerned.
  • “Near-zero emission buildings” are high energy-efficient buildings with a low carbon footprint taking into account a whole life cycle assessment approach (meaning using a low GHG energy source, and built with low GHG building materials and equipment.
  • “Resilient Buildings” are buildings that integrate specifications related to the future climate in their design, construction, and operation maintenance.
  • “New normal” means the above concepts are generalized in engineered buildings (formal and semi-formal).

Buildings Breakthrough leadership

The Buildings Breakthrough is co-led by France (Ministry for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion) and the Kingdom of Morocco (Ministry of National Territory Planning, Land Planning, Housing and City Policy), and coordinated under the umbrella of the UNEP-hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC).

Supporting Countries/Initiatives

We, governments, gathered under the banner of the Buildings Breakthrough will collectively act to achieve worldwide near-zero emission and resilient buildings are the new normal by 2030.

To date, 28 countries have joined the Buildings Breakthrough: Armenia, Austria, Canada, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Türkiye, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Zambia.

In addition, the European Commission and 26 international initiatives have announced their support.

 List of Buildings Breakthrough supporting countries (in alphabetical order):




Armenia: Urban Development Committee




Austria: Ministry of Climate Action and Energy




Canada: Natural Resources Canada; Environment and Climate Change Canada




China: Ministry of Housing Urban and Rural Development 


Côte d'Ivoire


Côte d’Ivoire: Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development




Egypt: Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities




Ethiopia: Ministry of Urban Development and Infrastructure




Finland: Ministry of Environment




France: Ministry for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion

(Buildings Breakthrough co-lead)




Germany: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action




Ghana: Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation




Guinea-Bissau: Ministry of Public Works, Construction and Urban Planning




Japan: Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)




Jordan: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources




Kenya: Ministry of Lands, Public Works, Housing & Urban Development




Liberia: Ministry of Mines and Energy




Mauritania: Ministry for Environment and Sustainable Development (MEDD)




Mongolia: Ministry of Environment and Tourism




Morocco: Ministry for National Territory Planning, Land Planning, Housing and City Policy

(Buildings Breakthrough co-lead)




Netherlands: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations; Construction and Energy Department




Norway: Ministry of Climate and Environment




Senegal: Ministry for Environment and Sustainable Development




Sweden: Ministry of Rural Affairs and Infrastructure




Tunisia: Ministry of Equipment and Housing




Türkiye: Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change




United Kingdom: Department for Energy Security and Net Zero




United States of America: White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy (Climate Policy Office)




Zambia: Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development

In addition, the European Commission has endorsed the Buildings Breakthrough.


List of Buildings Breakthrough supporting initiatives

Milestones to come

How to join?

Here is a document explaining how to join the Buildings Breakthrough. Additional countries and initiatives interested in joining or supporting the Buildings Breakthrough are also invited to contact the GlobalABC Secretariat at

News on the Buildings Breakthrough