The built environment is a critical sector to tackle if we are to reach the climate mitigation targets set out in the Paris Agreement, as it represents close to 40% of global energy-related GHG emissions (almost 14 Gt per year) and 50% of global resource extraction.
Action and collaboration are needed immediately from all stakeholders to achieve the paradigm shift to a net-zero and resilient built environment. If action is not taken today, we risk locking emissions and vulnerability into our buildings and infrastructure that will become increasingly costly to mitigate in the future. (Climate Action Pathway, Human Settlements, Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action)
To decarbonize the built environment, whole-life carbon emissions (operational and embodied) must be assessed and tracked on all new and existing developments to determine how best to minimize emissions while ensuring resilience for the future. System decarbonization requires demanding less material, minimizing energy use, and implementing low-carbon and renewable heating, cooling, material and construction technologies at scale, while promoting the decarbonization of the energy, transportation, and material manufacturing sectors (e.g. steel and cement) in parallel.
Recognizing this, GlobalABC's Work Area 3 'Market Transformation' identified two enablers and three fundamental levers to drive the market transformation along the full value chain of the built environment.