Whole-life carbon roadmap for Poland

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The FINANCIAL — Buildings play a crucial role in Poland’s effort to meet the 2050 net-zero emissions goal, says a new study published today by the Polish Green Building Council (PLGBC) in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

According to the report, titled “How to Decarbonise the Built Environment by 2050: Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for Poland”, the buildings sector, including construction, is responsible for about 38 per cent of the country’s carbon emissions. Whole-life carbon emissions are those that result from the construction and use of a building over its entire life, including demolition and. disposal.

The report provides a “roadmap” to illustrate and navigate the complex challenge that Poland faces to decarbonise the construction sector by 2050. The decarbonisation of buildings requires continuous engagement and the cooperation of many parties and this cooperation is a key task for all stakeholders, the authors conclude.

Poland is a signatory to the Paris Agreement, which requires that global net greenhouse gas emissions reach zero by 2050. The European Union aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030. These targets will be achieved by decarbonising all sectors of the economy.

Alistair Clark, EBRD Managing Director, Environmental and Sustainability Department, said: “The EBRD aims to become a majority green bank by 2025. Our objective is also to support the countries where we invest in their transitions to low-carbon and Paris Agreement-aligned economies. The building sector has a significant environmental and social impact, but we look at the decarbonisation of the building sector as an opportunity for more and greener investments. The ERBD will support market transition in partnership with counterparts who keep the environment and sustainability high on their agendas.”

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The report also proposes concrete actions for nine stakeholder groups: government and local authorities; developers, investors and building owners; designers (architects and civil engineers); manufacturers of building materials and technologies; contractors; building managers; financial institutions and NGOs; professional associations; and academia. Work on the report was preceded by consultations with 40 industry organisations and institutions in Poland.

Alicja Kuczera, CEO of PLGBC, said: “The path towards the decarbonisation of Poland’s building stock and construction sector presented in the report is undoubtedly very ambitious. However, without bold vision it is impossible to achieve climate neutrality. But ambitious visions must be translated into ambitious strategies, as only decisive, intensified and long-term action will allow us to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal.

In the EBRD regions, buildings are responsible for more than 43 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. The global building stock is likely to double by 2050 and given that buildings are expected to deliver more and more in terms of comfort, convenience and entertainment, emissions will increase considerably if little or nothing is done to reduce their carbon intensity. Decarbonising buildings is one of the most cost-effective ways to mitigate the worst effects of the impending climate breakdown.

Cristina Gamboa, CEO of the World Green Building Council, added: “This ambitious policy roadmap shows that with a whole-life carbon approach, the Polish building and construction sector can play a crucial role in attaining climate neutrality. It is inspiring to see our member Green Building Councils across our Europe Regional Network spearheading climate leadership towards a fully decarbonised built environment. We look forward to the release of a further nine national roadmaps as part of our #BuildingLife initiative in the coming months.”

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