Embodied Carbon Policy Framework

CNCA and C40 Cities Launch Policy Framework and Dashboard to Promote Clean Construction

By 2060, we expect another 2.75 billion people to live in urban areas and the global building stock to more than double in size. In response, today the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and C40 Cities announce the launch of two complementary resources to support cities embracing a clean construction that works for the economy, the people, and the planet.

Cities globally account for more than 70% of global carbon emissions, which is why the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance and C40 Cities are helping cities cut carbon quickly and in every sector. The next major effort is to decarbonize construction materials.

Cities are expected to add 2.75 billion residents by 2060, which will cause unprecedented demand for construction and add to the 39% of global carbon emissions that buildings and construction currently comprise. Construction machinery, transport and construction and waste management will increase these emissions further.

Consequently, embodied carbon — or carbon from extraction, manufacture, transport, use and end of life of construction materials — is set to grow rapidly in cities. Dramatic embodied carbon reduction is required to mitigate further climate breakdown. It will require changes to what we build and where, how projects are chosen and delivered, and how materials are made, recycled and utilized.

CNCA and Bionova Ltd., in partnership with Architecture 2030,  launch the City Policy Framework for Dramatically Reducing Embodied Carbon report. It contains 52 policies cities can adopt to reduce embodied carbon. All 52 policies are based on their potential impact on carbon, cost efficiency, ease of implementation and enforceability. The policy framework makes the city better equipped to make science-based decisions on which policies to implement when and where. With the framework cities are several steps closer to be able to dramatically reduce embodied carbon in the built environment.

C40 Cities launches the Clean Construction Policy Explorer on the C40 Knowledge hub. The Clean Construction Policy Explorer is an interactive dashboard showcasing how cities around the world are already embracing clean construction and supporting embodied emissions reductions in their built environment. The explorer reveals that leading city action is possible and underway, serving as inspiration to accelerate these efforts elsewhere.

These resources help cities towards a net zero built environment by choosing, prioritizing and preparing policies that effectively reduce embodied carbon.