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Aligning the built-environment with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C scenario

The building sector represents a large share of worldwide carbon emissions (c. 40%) and thus reducing the carbon footprint of the built-environment will be essential to reach the ambitions of the Paris Agreement. This will require a deep transformation of how we envision, plan, design, build and manage our built-environment.

On the one hand, policy makers across several jurisdictions are exploring how to align the built environment to the 1.5°C scenario and trajectory and how to develop legislative tools to help the fragmented value chain to integrate carbon performance in the decision-making process.

On the other hand, one can question whether an approach based on single metric performance will be enough to respond to the challenge? Can we develop a more systemic approach where our built environment plays a repair & restore function, including in terms of carbon?


  • Martina Otto, Head of Cities Unit at UNEP and Head of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC)
  • Nirmal Kishnani, Associate Professor of Architecture in the School of Design & Environment (SDE) at the National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Karen Scrivener, Professor and Head of Laboratory of Construction Materials at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)