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A methodology for tracking decarbonisation action and impact of the buildings and construction sector globally
2020-12-18
Author: Judit Kockat (BPIE) Sheikh Zuhaib (BPIE) Oliver Rapf (BPIE)
Region of Activities: Global
Type: Report

Background and objective
This paper develops a methodology to track decarbonisation in the buildings and construction sector
worldwide. A set of individual indicators is used to identify trends in decarbonisation action and
impact. The methodology is based on the OECD approach for developing composite indicators1 and is
applied to data collected from the existing GlobalABC Global Status Reports and other sources to
create the Buildings Climate Tracker or ‘decarbonisation index’, a composite indicator. The approach
and methods are described, discussed and extended in this paper.


Objective of the tracker
The primary objective of the tracker is to show the efforts made towards – and the impact of –
decarbonisation of buildings worldwide, using suitable and reliable data aggregated in a transparent,
consistent and continuous way.
In the context of the tracker, the definition of the term “decarbonisation” and its measurement go
beyond mere observations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reflect the efforts made by
policymakers, governments, regulators, industries, and other key institutional and regional actors
towards the decarbonisation of the building and construction sector globally.


Scope of the tracker
The Buildings Climate Tracker focusses on the decarbonisation of buildings worldwide. In its current
state it considers indicators related to building construction, use and renovation, but it excludes the
demolition phase and social indicators such as living conditions or housing shortages.
While the focus is on the climate change mitigation of the building sector (i.e. reduction of CO
2
emissions or energy savings), the tracker also contains information about adaptation and resilience to
climate change. Some measures such as building codes incorporate and address all three aspects – i.e.
mitigation, adaptation and resilience – by outlining the requirements for new and existing buildings
to face current and future risks accordingly.