During the Inaugural Meeting and Seminar of the GABC held in Paris 18 to 19 April 2016, members identified priorities for a transition towards a low-carbon, energy efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector. To that end, members established 5 Work Areas: Awareness and Education, Public Policies, Market Transformation, Finance, and Measurement, Data and Accountability.

GABC members also agreed on two ad-hoc frameworks: a Global Roadmap for the transition towards a low-carbon, energy efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector; and the Global Status Report, an annual report focused on GHG emission development in the buildings and construction sector.

Current Situation

The challenge: Overcoming persistent policy, market, institutional, and capability barriers.

Bringing the building sector onto a well-below 2oC pathway isn’t as easy as just changing the light bulbs. Key to realizing the social, economic and environmental benefits of an energy-efficient and low-carbon building sector is overcoming persistent policy, market, institutional, and capability barriers. In many jurisdictions public policy is required to drive a fundamental market transformation.

Implementing integrated policy packages consisting of an appropriate mix of regulations, financial incentives, voluntary programs, and capacity building is recognized as the most cost- and climate-effective approach. Effectively integrated polices can also stimulate employment, reduce air-pollution, and improve public health. A clear market transformation strategy that can identify barriers and overcome them requires integrated implementation of policy packages that include:

Buildings and construction energy codes, standards, ratings & disclosure: Establishing a competitive level playing field for setting, achieving, and publizising ambitious minimum environmental requirements for materials, products and life-cycle buildings and construction performance.

Finance & incentives: Stimulating demand for sustainable building and building efficiency projects, and programs through fiscal measures, grants and public-private partnerships;

Industry & community action: Developing comprehensive action plans to increase resource efficiency and reduce GHG emissions across the entire buildings value chain, synchronizing planning, supporting technology transfer, behavior change and capacity building.


By 2020, depending on their context and starting point, each country and each relevant public jurisdiction should have:

Shared or established a local action plan.

Implemented first actions and reported progress towards the well-below 2oC path.

Furthermore, this Work Area aims to enhance vertical integration by exploring coordination, joint exploration of needs, and mutual reporting between different levels of government.

Activities & Support

The Public Policy Work Area will support member cities, states, regions, and countries in developing, building capacity for, and implementing comprehensive building sector climate strategies. National, subnational, and local governments can work with GABC members to share technology solutions, scale finance and procurement approaches, and align national and local policies to accelerate action, through:

Setting priorities for action and collaboration by convening & facilitating ministerial round tables, regional buildings, construction & climate policy workshops, and deal-flow events in partnership with the G20 and UNEC.

Streamlining access to the large number of existing support programs, platforms, and tools offered by GABC members for developing and implementing policy action plans, through a deal-flow database that includes project-ready assistance for policy action planning activities such as: background & policy assessment; scenarios & policy planning; roadmap & policy development. Furthermore, ensuring a demand-driven approach to develop a project pipeline (e.g. through the Transformative Actions Program - TAP) that can be linked to potential financing institutions, donors, and investors is a key element.

Raising awareness and building capacity among policy makers (at all levels, in all sectors) and their stakeholder groups. A policy is a process of continual improvement requiring monitoring, evaluation, and reporting. In the public sector, jurisdictions with existing action plans can share results with jurisdictions that are taking action for the first time. Best-practices and lessons learned can also be shared online through a range of existing platforms, peer-to-peer learning, and local stakeholder engagement.


    The Public Policy Cluster is led by the French Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MTES), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), and the International Energy Agency (IEA). The Work Area is led by the following persons:

    Yves-Laurent Sapoval and Régis Meyer, French Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition (MTES) . Email: yves-laurent.sapoval@developpement-durable.gouv.fr; regis.meyer@developpement-durable.gouv.fr

    Stefanie Greil and Sandra Tacke, German Fedderal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi): stefanie.greil@bmwi.bund.de; sandra.tacke@bmwi.bund.de

    Brian Dean, International Energy Agency (IEA). Email: brian.dean@iea.org

All Work Areas welcome new participants. Please contact the GABC Secretariat for more information at global.abc@un.org