Raising global standards for green buildings

Raising energy efficiency standards for new buildings is a key opportunity for cities to lock-in emissions reductions of both carbon and other pollutants for decades to come and avoid costly retrofits down the line. This C40 workstream supports cities in their transitions to net zero carbon buildings to deliver significant emission reductions and experience co-benefits such as cost savings, energy security, green job creation, healthier buildings and better air quality.

Cities are ideally placed to work together to find the most effective solutions for the development and implementation of higher performance requirements for new buildings. Many of the cities in the network have signed the C40 Net Zero Carbon Buildings Accelerator committing to enact regulations and/or planning policy to ensure new buildings operate at net zero carbon by 2030. The network works to acknowledge the differences in city powers whilst finding ways to collaborate and utilise the combined knowledge and experience of cities to overcome challenges and maximise actions to reduce emissions in new buildings.

Cityscape with living wall and tall building at dusk in Milan.
© rhkamen / Getty Images
Focus areas:
  • Developing roadmaps to achieve net zero carbon new buildings.
  • Developing and enacting regulations and/or planning policies for ultra-efficient buildings with mandatory building energy codes.
  • Developing and implementing compliance, measurement and verification processes to support city action.

The New Building Decarbonisation Network is complemented by C40’s New Buildings Technical Assistance Programme that supports cities in using building codes and planning requirements to ensure that new buildings are ultra-high efficiency and suitable for a net-zero carbon economy.

This work is part of the C40 Buildings & Energy Programme, generously supported by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and ClimateWorks Foundation.