“Time running out” to curb energy use in buildings & construction to meet Paris climate goals

Monday 11th December 2017

 

Time is running out to reduce the buildings and construction sector’s energy use and keep the Paris Agreement on track, according to a new report published today.

The Global Status Report 2017 finds that buildings and construction now account for 39 per cent of energy related CO2 emissions, with 28 per cent coming from energy use in buildings and a further 11 per cent from the construction industry (see figure 7, from the report, below). The emissions from buildings and construction rose by nearly 1 per cent per year between 2010 and 2016.

The report was published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC), a coalition comprised of countries, NGOs and companies, and originally founded at COP21 with the support of WorldGBC as an initiating partner and now a key member of its Interim Steering Committee.

The report also says that the total floor area of buildings is expected to double over the next 40 years, from 235 billion square metres in 2016 to 465 billion m2 – the equivalent of adding the floor area of Japan to the planet every single year to 2060. Over half of the new buildings expected to be built by 2060 will be constructed in the next 20 years – with two thirds of them in Africa and Asia. And while energy intensity in the sector continues to improve (at an average annual rate of 1.5 per cent), the growth in global floor area offsets these improvements.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, said: “While the energy intensity of the buildings sector has improved, this has not been enough to offset rising energy demand. Ambitious action is needed without delay to avoid locking in long-lived, inefficient buildings assets for decades to come.”

The report itself highlights WorldGBC’s projects on net zero carbon buildings and green, healthy buildings, as well as Green Building Councils’ work on green building certification and policy as key actions presenting hope for change.

Terri Wills, CEO of WorldGBC, said: “The Global Status Report sets out the harsh reality of the challenges that lie ahead if the buildings and construction sector is to play its part in tackling climate change. But make no mistake, the global green building movement is ready and is already delivering.

“The WorldGBC now has in place Regional Heads in some of the most important regions for building growth, including Africa and Asia; we have helped to influence green building policy in over 30 countries, showing the potential for us to support countries in the Global Alliance with even more ambitious policies; 1.2 billion square metres of green buildings have been certified by our Councils, and our Advancing Net Zero project is poised to make net zero carbon buildings a reality in over 14 countries.”

 

 

Other key statistics in the Global Status Report 2017 include:

  • 82% of final energy consumption in buildings was supplied by fossil fuels in 2015
  • The energy intensity per square meter of buildings needs to improve 30% by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement
  • Renovation rates in existing buildings need to improve from 1% to 2% per year to over 2% to 3% over the next 10 years, especially in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, where around 65% of the total expected 2060 buildings stock is already built today.
  • Of the 193 countries to have submitted nationally determined contributions (NDCs), 132 explicitly mention the buildings sector - with 101 pointing to energy efficiency opportunities to meet mitigation targets.
  • But these pledges still fall short of hitting the 4.9 GtCO2 annual emissions reduction that could be achieved if countries were to pursue strategic low-carbon and energy efficient buildings technologies.

To read the Global Status Report 2017, click here.

The report follows WorldGBC’s Annual Report for 2016/17, which was published last week and details the progress of the organisation and its global network of more than 70 national Green Building Councils over the past year.

If you would like to support WorldGBC’s work to combat growing greenhouse emissions from the sector, please email our CEO at office@worldgbc.org or visit the Work with Us page on our website.

 

Time is running out to reduce the buildings and construction sector’s energy use and keep the Paris Agreement on track, according to a new report published today.

The Global Status Report 2017 finds that buildings and construction now account for 39 per cent of energy related CO2 emissions, with 28 per cent coming from energy use in buildings and a further 11 per cent from the construction industry (see figure 7, from the report, below). The emissions from buildings and construction rose by nearly 1 per cent per year between 2010 and 2016.

The report was published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC), a coalition comprised of countries, NGOs and companies, and originally founded at COP21 with the support of WorldGBC as an initiating partner and now a key member of its Interim Steering Committee.

The report also says that the total floor area of buildings is expected to double over the next 40 years, from 235 billion square metres in 2016 to 465 billion m2 – the equivalent of adding the floor area of Japan to the planet every single year to 2060. Over half of the new buildings expected to be built by 2060 will be constructed in the next 20 years – with two thirds of them in Africa and Asia. And while energy intensity in the sector continues to improve (at an average annual rate of 1.5 per cent), the growth in global floor area offsets these improvements.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, said: “While the energy intensity of the buildings sector has improved, this has not been enough to offset rising energy demand. Ambitious action is needed without delay to avoid locking in long-lived, inefficient buildings assets for decades to come.”

The report itself highlights WorldGBC’s projects on net zero carbon buildings and green, healthy buildings, as well as Green Building Councils’ work on green building certification and policy as key actions presenting hope for change.

Terri Wills, CEO of WorldGBC, said: “The Global Status Report sets out the harsh reality of the challenges that lie ahead if the buildings and construction sector is to play its part in tackling climate change. But make no mistake, the global green building movement is ready and is already delivering.

“The WorldGBC now has in place Regional Heads in some of the most important regions for building growth, including Africa and Asia; we have helped to influence green building policy in over 30 countries, showing the potential for us to support countries in the Global Alliance with even more ambitious policies; 1.2 billion square metres of green buildings have been certified by our Councils, and our Advancing Net Zero project is poised to make net zero carbon buildings a reality in over 14 countries.”

 

 

Other key statistics in the Global Status Report 2017 include:

  • 82% of final energy consumption in buildings was supplied by fossil fuels in 2015
  • The energy intensity per square meter of buildings needs to improve 30% by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement
  • Renovation rates in existing buildings need to improve from 1% to 2% per year to over 2% to 3% over the next 10 years, especially in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, where around 65% of the total expected 2060 buildings stock is already built today.
  • Of the 193 countries to have submitted nationally determined contributions (NDCs), 132 explicitly mention the buildings sector - with 101 pointing to energy efficiency opportunities to meet mitigation targets.
  • But these pledges still fall short of hitting the 4.9 GtCO2 annual emissions reduction that could be achieved if countries were to pursue strategic low-carbon and energy efficient buildings technologies.

To read the Global Status Report 2017, click here.

The report follows WorldGBC’s Annual Report for 2016/17, which was published last week and details the progress of the organisation and its global network of more than 70 national Green Building Councils over the past year.

If you would like to support WorldGBC’s work to combat growing greenhouse emissions from the sector, please email our CEO at office@worldgbc.org or visit the Work with Us page on our website.