Due to the scale of pollution generated by the sector, cleaning up the construction industry will be one of the key problems for EU policy over the next decade. Politicians and industry experts believe that they are able to swallow their pride and get to work.
Embodied coal, including construction materials such as steel and concrete, create 11% of global emissions. That's some 3,000 million tons of CO2 a year.
Lowering emissions from this aspect of the development process is important as it is impossible to decarbonize resources once they are installed into a house, and as per the non-profit organization Architecture 2030.
By contrast, operational carbon emissions can be steadily reduced over time by increasing energy productivity measures and using more renewable energy sources. Such emissions make up about 28% of the total production.
James Drinkwater, of the World Green Building Council, said at a conference on the topic held in Brussels on 19 November that "we need to have a full-life carbon dialogue," taking into account all forms of construction emissions.
Buildings are already monitored by a number of rules and laws, including the Building Energy Performance Directive (EPBD), the main objective of which is to increase the rates of current stock renovations.
Factors such as building codes are a national proficiency and are thus set by governments of member states instead of the EU.
In the first 100 days of office, reportedly on 11 December, the upcoming European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will reveal the outlines of its New Green Deal.
According to Emmanuelle Maire of the Environmental Directorate of the EU Executive, "it will be an opportunity to put together the general narrative and various obstacles, to look at how we are tackling climate change and how our financial system is working."
The EU spokesman added that circular economic efforts will be fundamental, explaining that "We only use recycled materials for 12 per cent in Europe.
EU officials are enthusiastic about what the Green Agreement is going incorporate. Fulvia Rafaelli, a colleague of Maire's Commission from the Directorate of Internal Market and Industry, demanded that "nobody knows; it's a great secret."
Asked to share her hopes from the upcoming strategy, set to be the flagship initiative of the mandate of von der Leyen, Rafaelli said, "We consider that communication to set the vision for all sectors, all the quality chain in the long run. We really want this long-term development plan." "Henceforth, there will not be one environmental policy, one for energy, one for a circular economy, and so on, all these things must work together, "she added.
However, through its' Level(s)' project, the Commission has already set the foundation for stronger buildings and cleaner construction, a voluntary reporting structure aimed at improving building sustainability.
Accessing and reducing the risk of the life cycle is often a difficult topic, as there are often different definitions of what should be included in the measurement and who should be held accountable for what. In the transport industry, that was particularly true.
Level(s) seeks to provide a common playbook and help foster life-cycle thinking throughout the construction process, supporting the industry in what is often a complex field of expertise.
"It's a device of hope. Of starters, we have to talk about how we can utilize it together with other issues like procurement, "Emmanuelle Maire told the activity in Brussels.
The structure is comprehensive in that it takes into consideration factors such as energy, raw materials and water use, as well as human well-being and resilience to global warming. "We need to increase the level(s) to help take it off," said Maire.
"As we looked around the globe, we found that Level(s), the common framework of the Commission to address the impacts of buildings on the life-cycle, is an incredibly unique strategy with a very wide afford-in. We have to move forward with this policy, "said James Drinkwater.
Tags : EU policy, James Drinkwater, Environmental Directorate, Emmanuelle Maire, Embodied coal,