Climate change is a major challenge of our time and the construction sector is a big contributor to climate change through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At a global level, the sector accounted for over 34% of energy demand and around 47% of energy and process-related CO2 emissions in 2021, hitting a new high, according to the United Nations.
In the EU, buildings are responsible for about 40% of the EU’s total energy consumption, and for 36% of its GHG emissions from energy. By far, the largest source of GHG emissions in construction comes from operating and using buildings rather than their construction.
Climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation have both become policy priorities in the EU and the European construction sector has a major role to play in decarbonising the EU’s economy and the built environment by using CO2-friendly construction materials and machinery and by constructing sustainable buildings and infrastructure. As such, the construction sector is also a key “enabler” of the Green Deal, the EU’s new sustainable growth strategy. Energy efficiency is also an essential component for action.