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2024-04-16 | GlobalABC Secretariat
GlobalABC Secretariat

The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) is increasingly being recognised as the key platform for bringing together all stakeholders including national governments, industry leaders, policymakers, NGOs, academia, and advocates with a shared vision: A zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector.

In 2023, the GlobalABC made considerable progress in reviewing its strategies and adding new essential strategic elements. Five key documents were produced to support the GlobalABC in delivering on its mandate and serving its members: Revised GlobalABC Strategic Framework; Communications Strategy; Member Engagement Strategy; Renewal and Reporting Framework; and Resource mobilisation strategy.

The 2023 narrative report reflects the continuing growth and evolution of the alliance and the key achievements that have defined the GlobalABC in the past year. 

2024-03-19 | Mervyn Jones, Douglas Fraser, Javier Letamendi, Stewart Muir, and Claire Thiebault
SAICM Secretariat

This guidance is primarily aimed at public procurers involved in a range of contracting agreements related to building materials and products. This includes the purchase of building materials for construction works, but may also extend to material extraction, manufacturing, building, retrofit, refurbishment, design, interior fit out, and end-of-life demolition or deconstruction processes. 

There are a variety of roles within the procurement cycle that the guidance can support, from commissioning, category management, tender preparation and evaluation, to contract management.

2024-03-14 | Jules Oriol, Volodymyr Vladyka, and Mariangiola Fabbri

Following the “build back better” principle, BPIE presents in this report six investment criteria to guide a sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine's heavily damaged built environment. The report calls on multilateral donors and the Ukrainian government to allocate funding to projects that meet ambitious energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate adaptation, and circularity criteria.

Download the report

2024-03-07 | BPIE, UCL

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR), a report published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), provides an annual snapshot of the progress of the buildings and construction sector on a global scale. The Buildings-GSR reviews the status of policies, finance, technologies, and solutions to monitor whether the sector is aligned with the Paris Agreement goals. It also provides stakeholders with evidence to persuade policymakers and the overall buildings and construction community to take action.

As outlined in the latest edition, the buildings and construction sector contributes significantly to global climate change, accounting for about 21 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2022, buildings were responsible for 34 per cent global energy demand and 37 per cent of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The 2022 update of the Global Buildings Climate Tracker (GBCT) paints a concerning picture: the gap between the current state and the desired decarbonisation path is significant. To align with the 2030 milestone, an annual increase of ten decarbonisation points is now required, a substantial jump from the six points anticipated per year starting in 2015.

This year, the deep dive chapters are the following: Adaptation and resilient construction methods; Innovations in business cases as well as Nature-based solutions and biophilic design.

Learn more and download the 2023 Buildings-GSR

GlobalABC Adaptation Working Group

The report highlights the urgent global crisis of climate change, emphasizing its wide-ranging consequences on the environment, biodiversity, human health, and poverty. It particularly focuses on the vulnerability of the built environment to climate change impacts and stresses the need for immediate adaptation measures. Despite the clear benefits and urgent need for adaptation, there's a notable delay in embracing and implementing adaptation strategies across stakeholders within the buildings and construction sector, though the report demonstrates that each stakeholder already has tools and levers to contribute to the resilience of the built environment. The text then addresses various challenges hindering adaptation efforts, including reluctance to bear initial costs, a predominant focus on mitigation rather than adaptation, and the need for local-level initiatives and financial resources. It calls for collective action, emphasizing the shared responsibility of all stakeholders in addressing climate change adaptation and ensuring a sustainable future.

Download the full report and its executive summary below.

2023-12-31 | Valerio Micale, John Michael LaSalle, Paul Rosane, Matthew Solomon, Chavi Meattle, Jessie Press-Williams, and Priscilla Negreiros
Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance

This report applies network analysis to examine the interdependencies between 75 policy and finance instruments, as well as 22 barriers, to support the transition to net zero carbon buildings. Such a network analysis approach allows us to move beyond case studies to explore potential high-impact pathways for cities to support a low-carbon transition for the building sector effectively.

Developing a systemic representation of the building sector allows us to answer the following questions:

  • Which barriers should we prioritize to ensure systemic transformation of the building sector?
  • Which instruments should we roll out, and in what sequence?
  • What pathways can cities follow to transition to a fully decarbonized building sector?

This report offers initial findings on the general challenges and mechanisms behind the transition towards a net zero carbon buildings sector, helping shed light on concrete pathways cities can implement to decarbonize the building sector.

Download the report now


Climate Target Setting for Real Estate Sector Financing’ is the first in a series of publications developed by members of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) with the goal of assisting banks by outlining the choices they make when setting climate-related targets for financing in particular sectors of the real economy. This includes key considerations in relation to the scope, portfolio metrics, data, and scenarios, emerging practices, common challenges and policy, data, and other gaps.

For many banks, the commitment they choose to make when joining NZBA requires them to set sectoral decarbonisation targets for their residential and commercial real estate financing. This publication is aimed at these banks in particular. It does not prescribe any particular methodology for banks to use or impose any requirements on NZBA member banks over and above the ones they chose to commit to when becoming a signatory.

Read the full report here.

2023-10-01 | Anna Zinecker, Loė Guthmann, Krishna Jithendra Kumar, Sreeparna Mitra, and Amit Weiner
Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings(PEEB)

Buildings are a sleeping giant for climate action. In 2021, buildings accounted for 37% of global energy- and process-related emissions (UNEP, 2022).  At the same time, buildings are particularly vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, storms, heatwaves, droughts, soil erosion, or wildfires. Climate-resilient buildings – promoting flexible design, passive cooling, nature-based solutions, local materials, or water conservation – are vital in achieving mitigation and adaptation objectives (Bourgault, Zinecker, & Mitra, 2021).

But climate action on buildings is lagging. Of the USD 5.8 trillion spent in the buildings and construction sector in 2019, only a fraction (2.6%) went towards building energy efficiency. Rising inflation rates have diverted the attention of many governments. In 2022, a modest 2% increase was estimated for investment in energy efficiency in buildings (UNEP, 2022).

To date, 194 countries have submitted Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat. This report analysed these submissions, looking for buildings-related measures, and classified each of these measures along three categories: (1) Mitigation; (2) Adaptation; and (3) Cross-cutting measures. For each of these, this report created subcategories such as energy efficiency in design, building structure, or financing.

Going forward, this study finds out that an analysis and benchmarking of the NDCs on specific topics may help introduce an even more effective next generation of NDCs on buildings. At the same time, there is a need to quantify targets, and back them up with financing. The sheet of NDCs used for this analysis is available for further research and policy work.

Please read the full report here.

2023-07-31 | Metabolic

How does the large-scale application of biobased construction materials impact our forests? Are we not shifting the burden to another planetary boundary if we focus on the reduction of carbon emissions?

This report from Metabolic is a first step in a longer-term exploration to create clarity on these important issues.

This report delves into the current environmental impact of the construction sector in the EU27+UK; the potential scenarios to reduce the impact of the sector by applying timber alternatives to carbon-intensive materials; the implications that this increased demand for timber has on European forests, and what systemic barriers need to be taken into consideration during the planning and development processes.

Please read the full report here.

2023-10-25 | International Finance Corporation (IFC)
International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Construction value chains, encompassing the construction and operation of buildings as well as the production of construction materials like cement and steel, contribute to approximately 40 percent of global CO2 emissions. This figure is expected to rise as developing economies, responsible for about two-thirds of these emissions, intensify construction activities for urbanization and development.

IFC is launching this report to guide international efforts to decarbonize construction value chains. Building Green: Sustainable Construction in Emerging Markets was prepared through close collaboration between IFC economists, investment officers, and building and construction sector specialists. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges of reducing carbon emissions from construction value chains in developing countries, but also the considerable opportunities that will come from mobilizing the estimated $1.5 trillion of investment required for this transition.

The report also offers important recommendations on financial instruments, technical assistance, standards, technologies, and capacity building to channel more financing into green buildings and materials and address the market failures hampering further progress on building green. IFC's own green buildings program and sustainability-linked finance facilities offer proven models on how such initiatives can be accomplished at scale.

Read the full report here.