EEA:Greater circularity in the buildings sector can lead to major cuts in greenhouse gas emissions

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions through circular economy actions in the buildings sector.

Together, European countries have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions significantly since 1990. Achieving climate neutrality by 2050, however, will demand additional and long-lasting climate mitigation strategies. With materials management accounting for up to two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, one promising area for further reductions is the circular economy. A new methodological approach helps to identify circular efforts that can contribute to reducing emissions in any sector and has highlighted key ways to cut emissions in the buildings sector.

Key messages:

  • Greater circularity and more efficient use of materials present new opportunities for further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A new methodology can help to identify which circular economy actions in each sector can make the most promising contributions to meeting targets to reduce emissions and to achieving climate neutrality in Europe.
  • In the buildings sector, selected circular economy actions can lead to reductions of up to 61 % in the materials-related greenhouse gases emitted across buildings’ life cycles.

Improving circularity and increasing the efficiency of materials management can take many forms:

  • extending product lifetimes
  • reducing material losses
  • recirculating materials and products
  • preventing downcycling
  • substituting greenhouse gas-intensive materials with those with lower emissions

Further information: HERE

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