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Decarbonising the construction industry: Can Europe lead in low carbon buildings and infrastructure?


Decarbonising the construction industry: Can Europe lead in low carbon buildings and infrastructure?

Buildings & construction are a major driver of energy demand and global CO2 emissions. According to the European Commission, they jointly account for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions and also 40% of final energy consumption. A recent IPCC report states the building and construction sector must decarbonise by 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The importance of cutting carbon in major infrastructure projects - in addition to the construction and operation of buildings - is increasingly being recognised. Changes to public procurement policies have the potential to make a dramatic impact here.

Given the work to decarbonise construction - from buildings to tunnels - already underway in leading markets like the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway, the immediate challenge is not so much how to start addressing embodied carbon. Rather, it is to elevate leading work in this field to a much more visible level so it can spark and guide more mainstream debate. Leaders are already adopting Life Cycle Assessments, from extraction to construction, to designing for deconstruction.

The Swedish construction and civil engineering sector has now adopted an all-embracing roadmap to decarbonise construction, and could show the way to other member states, cities and actors to work together to deliver a net zero carbon environment by 2050.

Tracking sustainability in the supply chain is important. Studies suggest there are three aspects to consider: leadership, to set strong and ambitions targets; binding procurement policies, to make an impact through the whole supply chain; innovation brought by industry in order to meet the imposed targets.

Industry points to some successful examples in challenging traditional ways of working such as, in the quarrying industry through developing new concept machines (electric machines), work methods and site management systems which together, form a complete site solution.

Join us for this high-level Forum to discuss which actions are needed to drive innovation in infrastructure construction and procurement requirements to achieve decarbonisation by 2050.


Supported by:

Construction Climate Challenge


Scotland Europa - Scotland House
Rond-point Robert Schuman 6, 1040 Bruxelles

Google Maps >>


Emmanuelle Maire, HoU, Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption, DG ENV, European Commission
Fulvia Raffaelli, Head of Unit, Clean Technologies and Products, DG GROW, European Commission
Pär Holmgren MEP, Member ENVI Committee, European Parliament
Melker Jernberg, President, Volvo CE
James Drinkwater, Director - Europe, World Green Building Council
Anna Kadefors, Professor, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology
Tim Embley, Group Research & Innovation Director, Costain Group PLC


Samuel Morgan, Energy & Environment Reporter, EURACTIV


17:00 – 17:30 Registration
17:30 – 18:00 Opening statements
18:00 – 19:00 Discussion and Q&A
19:00 – 20:00 Networking cocktail


Simona Ovesea
+32 (0)2 788 36 86

Related article

Construction clean-up looms as Green Deal approaches

Construction clean-up looms as Green Deal approaches

Cleaning up the construction industry will be one of the major challenges for EU policy over the next decade, given the scale of emissions produced by the sector. Policymakers and industry leaders insist they are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Highlights video