The cities have pledged to halve emissions from construction activities by 2030
The mayors of Oslo, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Budapest have pledged to halve emissions from all construction activities in their cities by 2030, in collaboration with major companies and business communities.
Through the targets in the Clean Construction Declaration, mayors pledge to help push the construction industry towards a more sustainable future. The declaration is published by C40 Cities, an organisation that connects 97 of the world’s cities to take climate action.
The construction industry in its current state is responsible for more than 23% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and 30% of global resource consumption. If the construction industry does not change, the world is on track for a global temperature increase of 3°C.
The declaration commits signatories to target reducing embodied carbon emissions by at least 50% for all new buildings and retrofits, as well as infrastructure projects, by 2030. Repurposing and retrofitting building stock – which reduces the need for raw building materials with high carbon footprints – is prioritised to make better use of what already exists.
Signatories also promise to procure and when possible use only zero-emission construction machinery from 2025. Recognising that cities cannot tackle the climate crisis alone, the declaration calls for innovation and collaboration across cities, businesses, governments and industry.
Zero-emission construction machinery at the Olav V’s gate project in Oslo
The four cities will embed clean construction policies into design and planning, procurement and contracting processes, as well as building codes.
‘The climate crisis is a global problem that requires global solutions,’ says governing mayor of Oslo Raymond Johansen. ‘We must cut global emissions in half by 2030. The construction sector accounts for up to a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it must play a key part if we are to reach this goal… We challenge the Minister of the Environment to take action and ask cities worldwide to join us.’
On 30 November, Oslo will unveil the redevelopment of one of its busiest streets, Olav V´s gate. Upgraded, closed to vehicles and pedestrianised, the whole construction process has been implemented entirely free of direct emissions.
Photography by Frederik Varfjell, C40