25 May 2022

New EU Policy Roadmap charts a path towards a decarbonised buildings and construction sector

This week, the World Green Building Council – a global action network of over 70 Green Building Councils – launched a policy roadmap that details how the European Union can accelerate decarbonisation of the buildings and construction sector, which is one of the most heavy-emitting sectors. The roadmap covers four key areas: building regulations, waste and circularity, sustainable procurement, and sustainable finance. ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability led the development of the roadmap on sustainable public procurement, and contributed chapters on multi-level governance and the critical role of subnational authorities.

The full roadmap was developed with support from over 35 organisations. It is the first of its kind, in that it covers the whole EU, and addresses the whole life carbon impact of buildings and construction across a number of policy areas.

The roadmap proposes a timeline of recommended actions for EU policymakers – spanning through until 2050 – including milestones on how key EU policies and regulations should be tightened over time. It also addresses, and provides guidance on, aligning local, regional, national and EU policies to ensure effectiveness.

ICLEI Europe views this final call for a multi-level governance approach particularly crucial. Wolfgang Teubner, ICLEI’s Regional Director for Europe, explained: “To successfully decarbonise Europe’s built environment, every governance level will have to be fully engaged in the process, working together to facilitate effective flow of funding, knowledge and data crucial to this transition. Moreover, it will be critically important that subnational levels are meaningfully engaged in policy-making processes, to ensure that on-the-ground realities are taken into account, sustainable procurement practices are fully leveraged, and local governments are adequately resourced to support market actors and disadvantaged groups. The #BuildingLife roadmap works towards this vision, providing deep insights into, and recommendations on, how policymakers can implement a 'whole life' carbon approach in a comprehensive and integrated manner.”

For more information, download the roadmap here.