The Irish Green Building Council is calling on the government to tackle the massive upfront carbon emissions that will be associated with the delivery of Ireland’s National Development Plan. The call follows the launch of the ‘Bringing embodied carbon upfront’ report by the World Green Building Council at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York yesterday. The report sets out a roadmap to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 across the building sector and presents a call to action to radically transform processes right along the planning and construction supply chain.

The report states that building and construction are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions in the world. Operational emissions, from energy used to heat, cool and light buildings, accounts for 28%. The remaining 11% comes from embodied carbon emissions. According to Irish Green Building Council CEO Pat Barry: “In Ireland, under the new nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB) regulations the carbon embodied in the materials account for up to 50% of the total life cycle carbon emissions of the homes and buildings we design. It is disappointing that there is no strategy to tackle the massive upfront emissions that will be associated with the implementation of the National Development Plan. The Government must immediately convene stakeholders and set out a roadmap for the reduction of these emissions”.

Mr Barry added: ‘Dublin and other towns and cities are currently seeing unprecedented levels of demolition. These buildings are often no more than 40 years old and could be easily refurbished. We are missing huge opportunities to save carbon emissions from avoiding a new structure.’
The ‘Bringing embodied carbon upfront’ report is available at

Denise Maguire        
Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine