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The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC) contributes to the
common objective of the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC) is an initiative launched at COP21, as part of the Lima Paris Action Agenda. It aims to mobilise all stakeholders, including member states and non-state actors from the Buildings and Construction sector to scale up climate actions in the sector. The GABC focuses on the achievement of the low-carbon and energy transition through fostering the development of appropriate policies for sustainable, energy efficient buildings, which allows a concrete value-chain transformation of the sector.

Specifically, the GABC aims at supporting and accelerating the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). It is committed to putting the buildings and construction sector on the below 2 °C path. The Alliance thus facilitates the implementation of the Paris Agreement for the buildings and construction sector in terms of energy efficiency gains, growth of renewable energy, GHG emissions reduction, and increasing the share of eco-friendly buildings, whether new or renovated. Today, the GABC gathers 24 countries and 72 non-state organisations (sub-national, non-governmental organisations and private sector) from all over the world. It intends to increase the pace and scale of actions through communication, collaboration and implementation.

The GABC has three Common Global Objectives:

  1. Communicate: Raising awareness and engagements in order to make visible the magnitude of the opportunities and impacts in the buildings and construction sector, define sectoral climate goals and promote transparency and information exchange.
  2. Collaborate: Further enabling actions on public policies and market transformations to achieve existing climate commitments, through implementing partnerships, sharing technology and know-how, and improving deal-flow and facilitate access to efficient financing and funding.
  3. Solutions: Offering programs for further ambition and locally adapted solutions that firmly put the buildings sector on a below 2 °C path: increasing efficiency of buildings systems and envelope, mainstreaming low GHG materials, low-emission new buildings and scaling up deep renovation.

GABC activities are organized around 5 different Work Areas contributing to the transition towards low-GHG and resilient real estate:

  1. Education and Awareness
  2. Public Policies
  3. Market Transformation
  4. Finance
  5. Measurement, Data and Accountability

The GABC Secretariat is hosted by UN Environment's Economy Division.

Towards zero-emission efficient and resilient buildings - presenting the GABC Global Status Report 2016
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Download the Global Status Report here.

Energy use in buildings and for building construction represents more than one-third of global final energy consumption and contributes to nearly one-quarter of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions worldwide. A growing population, as well as rapid growth in purchasing power in emerging economies and developing countries, means that energy demand in buildings could increase by 50% by 2050, while global building floor area is expected to double by 2050, driving energy demand and related GHG emissions for construction.

Yet, the building sector offers the largest cost-effective GHG mitigation potential, with net cost savings and economic gains possible through implementation of existing technologies, policies and building designs.

Building energy efficiency technologies and policies have been demonstrated as cost effective means for collectively improving energy security and productivity, while also improving health and wellbeing, reducing local air pollution, creating jobs and adapting to climate change. Governments are looking increasingly at ways to accelerate investment in net-zero/low-carbon buildings, and the essential role of the building sector is well recognised as a critical element to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

Nearly 90 countries have now included building sector actions in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and a coalition of over 90 states and non-state actors has formed the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to raise awareness of the building sector’s huge climate action potential and focus specifically on engaging relevant stakeholders to help achieve a wellbelow 2°C pathway.

In addition, more than 3 000 city-level and 500 private sector commitments and actions in the building sector have been registered under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The finance sector is also mobilising investors, representing over USD 3 000 billion in assets to increase financing for energy-efficient buildings. A number of industry and professional bodies are also mobilising their networks of company and professional members to support market development for high-performance buildings, including initiatives to implement net-zero/carbon-neutral building certification programmes, platforms for private sector engagement with cities to develop and implement local decarbonisation action plans, and communication and education campaigns on net-zero buildings and deep renovation of existing buildings.

Despite this surge of awareness and commitment across stakeholders, the energy savings and GHG mitigation targets being set for the building sector are not yet ambitious enough to achieve the Paris Agreement’s pledges. A below 2°C pathway requires reducing global energy and process-based carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 60% in 2050 compared to 2012.

For the building sector, this means avoiding at least 50% of projected growth in energy consumption through mainstreaming of highly energy-efficient, near-zero, net-zero energy and energy-plus buildings in new construction as well as massive uptake of deep renovation of the existing building stock by 2030.

For more information download the Global Status Report here.

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INDICATORS OF PROGRESS

 

As the graph below shows, substantial progress can be made since more countries could commit themselves to take effective action in the sector.

NDCs
0
88
193

N° of countries

Building Energy Codes
0
62
193

N° of countries

Building Energy Certification
0
84
193

N° of countries

Space Heating
0
1405
2817

Emissions with policy coverage (MtCO2)

Space Cooling
0
375
893

Emissions with policy coverage (MtCO2)

Water Heating
0
372
1114

Emissions with policy coverage (MtCO2)

Lighting
0
732
1156

Emissions with policy coverage (MtCO2)

Indicators of progress for the transition towards zero-emission, efficient and resilient buildings (Source : Global Status Report, 2016).