60 % of emissions from C40 cities come from operating buildings and industries1
75 % of all global energy consumption occurs in cities2
28 cities have pledged new buildings will be net-zero carbon by 2030

About this sector

The buildings that we live and work in cause nearly 60% of emissions in C40 cities on average, and up to 80% in some cities – from energy used to power, heat or cool them. Construction materials and the building sector are also responsible for almost a third of global resource consumption. 

The need for buildings and infrastructure will only intensify – by 2025, we will need to build 1 billion new homes. About 60% of buildings that will exist by 2050 haven’t been built yet. This means constructing a city the size of Stockholm or Milan every week until 2050, or a city the size of Singapore or New York every month.

C40 supports cities in implementing ambitious building energy efficiency initiatives and catalyzing the cleaning up of the energy supply in line with a 1.5°C climate mitigation target.

Some examples of high-impact measures in this sector include:
  • Implementing and enforcing building energy regulations and mandatory performance standards for existing buildings.
  • Including measures to reduce embodied emissions in buildings, with benchmarking of whole life cycle emissions.
  • Incentivising or implementing citywide actions towards grid decarbonisation.
  1. GPC inventories, October 2021.
  2. UN Habitat