Measurement and reduction of embodied carbon in the Israeli building sector

Embodied Carbon refers to the total Co2 emissions that are created in the whole life cycle of a material or product. Embodied carbon emissions are a significant component of the total GHG emissions, and they have a significant impact on global warming.

Today in Israel, most of the efforts for de-carbonization in the building sector are directed to tackle operational carbon (emissions from operating the building), and there is no adequate reference to deal with the measurement and reduction of the embodied carbon. Few challenges cause a significant amount of embodied carbon in Israel, including the absence of regulation, lack of economic profitability, and lack of knowledge and proficiency. Therefore, to mitigate climate change and meet the climate goals, a set of incentives and regulations needs to be implemented in the field of measurement and reduction of embodied carbon.

The main goal of this paper is to study the topic of embodied carbon and to recommend specific policy tools in the regulation, economic and informative fields, that will incentivize the construction market to measure and reduce its embodied carbon, and in the long term to create a low-carbon building sector in Israel.

The paper describes about the different building materials in Israel, methods to measure embodied carbon (LCA and EPD), and methods to measure the reduction (self-reduction or compared to reference point). Afterward, the paper introduces policy recommendations of different kinds: basic recommendations to set methodology for measurement and measurement of the reduction of embodied carbon, regulatory recommendations, economic and financial tools that will incentivize the market, and informative actions that will raise the awareness and proficiency. Every recommendation is based on deep research of what is happening in the world, and is written with the right adjustments that are needed to implement them in Israel.

Nadav Paldi
A 2021-2022 fellow, interning at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, at the Green Building department. Nadav holds a B.A in PPE program (Philosophy, Political Science and Economy) from Tel Aviv University. Currently an M.A student in Environmental Policy and Management,...
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