A methodology for tracking decarbonisation action and impact of the buildings and construction sector globally – Developing the GlobalABC Building Climate Tracker

This paper develops a methodology to track decarbonisation in the buildings and construction sector worldwide. A set of individual indicators is used to identify trends in decarbonisation action and impact. The methodology is based on the OECD approach for developing composite indicators and is applied to data collected from the existing GlobalABC Global Status Reports and other sources to create the Buildings Climate Tracker or ‘decarbonisation index’, a composite indicator. The approach and methods are described, discussed and extended in this paper.

Objective of the tracker
The primary objective of the tracker is to show the efforts made towards – and the impact of – decarbonisation of buildings worldwide, using suitable and reliable data aggregated in a transparent, consistent and continuous way.

In the context of the tracker, the definition of the term “decarbonisation” and its measurement go beyond mere observations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reflect the efforts made by policymakers, governments, regulators, industries, and other key institutional and regional actors towards the decarbonisation of the building and construction sector globally.

Scope of the tracker
The Buildings Climate Tracker focusses on the decarbonisation of buildings worldwide. In its current state it considers indicators related to building construction, use and renovation, but it excludes the demolition phase and social indicators such as living conditions or housing shortages.
While the focus is on the climate change mitigation of the building sector (i.e. reduction of CO2 emissions or energy savings), the tracker also contains information about adaptation and resilience to climate change. Some measures such as building codes incorporate and address all three aspects – i.e. mitigation, adaptation and resilience – by outlining the requirements for new and existing buildings to face current and future risks accordingly.

The Buildings Climate Tracker has contributed to the 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, launched by the GlobalABC on December 16th 2020.

The full 2020 report can be found here.

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