Nordic Declaration on Low Carbon Construction and Circular Principles in the Construction Sector

10.10.19 | Declaration
Nordic Declaration on Low Carbon Construction and Circular Principles in the Construction Sector

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We, the Nordic Ministers responsible for Construction and Housing:

  • Affirm our commitment to fight climate change and mitigate the emissions that arise from the built environment. The high demand for energy and materials during the life cycle of buildings leads to unsustainable amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and waste.
  • Note that the Nordic goal of being global leaders and advocates for climate action – a commitment made by the Nordic prime ministers and CEOs on the 20th of August 2019 in Iceland and by the Nordic prime ministers and other government ministers on the 25th of January 2019 – cannot be reached without enabling a rapid change in our ways of building, renovating and living, without compromising the safety, affordability and quality of the built environment. 

Low Carbon Construction and Planning

  • Welcome the efforts that the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers has taken in facilitating discussions between Nordic authorities to promote the work towards low carbon construction.
  • Stress the importance of continuing and strengthening these efforts, so that the Nordic countries can benefit from sharing best practices of smart and innovative solutions for low carbon construction, maintenance and operation of buildings.
  • Call for collaboration in the search for low carbon solutions in spatial and urban planning in Nordic countries.
  • Agree to continue the collaboration on the harmonisation of relevant approaches, methods, data, tools and policies for carbon neutrality in the built environment.
  • Call for the stakeholders in the construction and real estate sectors as well as related industries to support the joint Nordic efforts towards carbon neutral construction and renovation in a cost efficient manner.
  • Call for the academia and research institutes to develop channels of communication to increase the knowledge and capacity for a rapid transition to a carbon neutral built environment without compromising the safety, affordability and quality of our built environment.
  • Commit ourselves to pursue global leadership, so that the Nordic region can become a forerunner in the development of low carbon construction solutions.

Circular principles in the construction sector

  • Note that the existing built environment forms a resource bank of useful materials, which should be utilised without compromising health, safety and durability.
  • Recognise that there is a need to develop the European Union legislation in order to facilitate the sustainable use of construction materials, and to remove obstacles to the reuse and circulation of construction products.
  • Invite the Nordic countries to collaborate in the Council of the European Union in order to influence the forthcoming revision of the Construction Products Regulation in a manner which would facilitate the integration of circular principles in the construction sector and help the construction sector to fight climate change. 

Therefore we

  • Agree on the issues raised in this declaration being of the highest priority.
  • Ask the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers to explore possibilities for financial support to the harmonisation efforts concerning building regulations and mitigation of climate emissions from construction.
  • Express our firm commitment to this ongoing work towards low carbon construction and the integration of circular principles in the construction sector.
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