A New Era for Decarbonising the Building and Construction Industry

Circular World™ Media
4 min readApr 3, 2024


The building and construction industry just received a huge boost towards their efforts to decarbonise their sector. On 08 March 2024, in France, 1,400 participants from 70 countries agreed to the adoption of the Declaration de Chaillot, a foundational document for international cooperation that will enable progress towards a rapid, fair, and effective transition of the sector.

There are three main points to the Declaration around the need to implement sound policies and actions to avoid lock-in effects:

  • To drastically and systematically decrease GHG emissions from existing and new buildings;
  • To enhance carbon uptake and storage in the urban environment;
  • To adapt existing and new buildings to current and future climate change.

The document expands to include biodiversity loss due to the over-exploitation of natural resources, materials and the reuse of materials, energy and water use and refrigerant gases, etc. The Declaration de Chaillot makes it sound quite easy.

In a 2023 report published by McKinsey, their ecosystem diagram provides us with a glimpse of the realities of decarbonising the building and construction industry.


The UK Institution of Engineering and Technology believe it is technically possible to deliver zero-carbon buildings today. However, it is not happening at the speed and scale required. There are barriers to wider deployment of zero-carbon building solutions, but also positive trends that are shifting the market.

A single player cannot deliver decarbonisation of the built environment. Progress relies on breaking down the walls between existing silos and reconfiguring relationships across specialist sectors…Develop new relationships and understanding between the built environment groups involved in creating, using, and disposing of buildings.

In today’s (03 April 2024) newsletter from the Global Alliance for Building and Construction is a list of Priority International Actions for 2024 ~ 2025 under the Buildings Breakthrough in response to the recommendations in the Breakthrough Agenda Report 2023 from the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and UN High-Level Action Champions (UN HLAC).

In order to implement the Breakthrough Agenda commitment launched by 45 World Leaders at COP26 and now backed by 57 governments, set out below are the actions being taken forward by individual countries and governments as appropriate to their national priorities:

  1. Standards and Certification: Develop the definitions and assessments for near-zero emission and resilient buildings (NZERB) and identify pathways for implementation.
  2. Demand Creation: Scale up existing public and private sector low carbon procurement alliances and commitments for “whole-building” and “piece by piece” procurement.
  3. Finance and Investment: Aim to clarify and amplify the finance sector’s impact on mitigation, adaptation and resilience within the building sector.
  4. Research and Deployment: Coordinate with countries and companies to jointly identify knowledge gaps, share RD&D priorities and leverage existing networks, and work through these to gather expertise and additional country members.
  5. Capacity and Skills: Coordinate with countries and companies to jointly identify training and capacity-building priorities (including institutional capacities).
  6. Landscape Coordination: Enhance the coordination and transparency of international collaboration on near-zero emission and resilient buildings.

The principles of the circular economy are included in their publications, and here is a snapshot of their approach, “Furthermore, full decarbonisation of the sector requires a life-cycle approach, ensuring circularity in building materials and reducing their embodied carbon, adequate urban planning and development, and adopting adaptation and resilience measures.

Expect to hear more from the Global Alliance on Buildings and Construction.


Ms Adrienna Zsakay is the founder and CEO of Circular Economy Asia Inc. , and this article presents her opinions on the circular economy. Circular World ™ Video of the Week is brought to you by Circular World™ Media — a brand owned by Circular Economy Asia Inc.


Global Alliance for Building and Construction: Ministerial Declaration — Buildings and Climate Global Forum Declaration de Chaillot

Building value by decarbonizing the built environment ‘ by Brodie Boland , Shailesh Lekhwani, Sebastian Reiter and Erik Sjödin, published by McKinsey, 12 June 2023

‘Decarbonising the Built Environment — Guide for Decision Makers’ by The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2023

‘GlobalABC Roadmap for Buildings and Construction 2020–2050’ was prepared by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), 2020.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.



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