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Newly released research reveals that changes to the construction industry could cut the emissions generated from buildings and infrastructure 44% by 2050.

The report, published by C40 Cities, Arup and University of Leeds, Building and Infrastructure Consumption Emissions urges action in 6 key areas to reduce the climate impact of construction in cities:

  • Implementing efficiency in material design
  • Enhancing existing building utilisation
  • Switching high-emission materials to sustainable timber where appropriate
  • Using lower-carbon cement
  • Reusing building materials and components
  • Using low, or zero-emission construction machinery

As well as reducing GHG emissions, the research reveals the additional economic, social and health benefits that ‘clean’ construction could generate.

The interventions identified in the research would reduce air and noise pollution, providing health benefits for citizens and the environment. They would also spark change within the growing construction economy, providing opportunities for new jobs and skills.

Cities are starting to take action on construction to address the climate impact of their consumption.

Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm will now reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from construction sites, in the effort to solve the climate crisis and improve public health.

Consumption-based emissions including construction, as well as food, clothing, aviation, building and others, from nearly 100 of the world’s big cities already represent 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions

Without urgent action, those emissions will nearly double by 2050.

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