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Fostering collaboration

Buildings Breakthrough target: “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

Despite the buildings sector being a heavyweight for climate action (around 37 percent of CO2 emissions and over 34 percent of global final energy demand come from buildings and construction), a Buildings Breakthrough was not part of this Breakthrough Agenda.

At the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June 2022, it was announced by Mr. Stéphane Crouzat, French Climate Change Ambassador, that France (Ministry of Ecological Transition) and the Kingdom of Morocco (Ministry of National Territory and Urban Planning, Housing, and City Policy) 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.


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, 26 countries have joined the Buildings Breakthrough: Armenia, Austria, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, The Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, Sudan, Sweden, Tunisia, Türkiye, the UK, and Zambia.

In addition, 15 initiatives have announced their support to be listed as leading initiatives.

 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


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




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)




The 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




Sudan: Ministry of Urban Development and Roads and Bridges




Sweden: Ministry of Rural Affairs and Infrastructure



Tunisia: Ministry of Equipment and Housing




Türkiye: Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change




UK: Department for Energy Security and Net Zero




Zambia: Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development

List of Buildings Breakthrough supporting initiatives

Milestones to come

  • November/December 2023:
    • COP28 (30 November-12 December 2023 | Dubai, UAE): The Buildings Breakthrough is expected to be officially launched (TBC) at COP28 UAE
    • Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW) (13-17 November 2023 | Johor, Malaysia)
  • March 2024:
    • Global Forum on Buildings and Climate (March 2024 | Paris, France), co-organised by the Government of France and UNEP

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