The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction highlights the recent progress of the buildings and construction gloabally towards the achievement of the Paris Agreement on Climate Chance goals. This fifth edition focuses on the opportunities of a green recovery for the building and construction sector.

The building and construction sector accounted for 38% of all energy related CO2 emissions, i.e. 9,95 GtCO2 in 2019. If we want to achieve a net-zero carbon building stock by 2050, the International Energy Agency estimated that direct building CO2 emissions must fall by 50% and indirect building sector emissions by 60% by 2030 meaning that the sector emissions would fall by around 6% per year. However, GlobalABC’s Buildings Climate Tracker which considers measures such as incremental energy efficiency investment in buildings and the share of renewable energy in global buildings found that the rate of annual improvement of the building and construction sector is actually decreasing. What should we do then?

The crisis we are facing today gives us a great opportunity to get back on track sustainably through a green recovery. UNEP released recently its Emissions Gap Report 2020 and found that a green recovery could cut up to 25% of predicted greenhouse gas emissions. Even if much more needs to be done to get to the 1.5°C goal, it brings us closer to the 2°C scenario.

Governments should conduct their green recovery in the building sector by prioritising low carbon buildings through a systematic inclusion of decarbonisation measures into recovery packages. Also, governments should step up their ambitions and commitments in their second NDCs (Nationally determined contribution) that they will soon update. And hopefully, they will put much more efforts for mitigation in the building sector which is crucial if we want to achieve our climate goals according to the report.

In addition to policy recommendations, you will also find guidelines for the different actors of the value chain of the sector such as owners and businesses.


BPIE and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction developed the Buildings Climate Tracker to measure decarbonisation of the sector across the world.

By using the OECD approach for compsoite indicators, they constructed a decarbonisation index and consists of five steps: Data collection, analysis, and selection precede the normalisation and aggregation. It mainly focuses on building construction, use and renovation (excluding demolition and social indicators) but also provides information on adaptation and resilience to climate change by outlining the requirement for new and existing buildings to face current and future risks.

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