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UNEP Releases Report on Construction, Buildings and Climate

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6 December 2008: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

released a report entitled “The Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development

Mechanism, and the Building and Construction Sector,” suggesting that the Kyoto

Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which governs the main

international carbon market, should be revised to tap into the mitigation

potential of the building and construction industry.

Energy use in buildings, which could almost double by 2030 due to construction in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, accounts for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions globally, but currently accounts for 0.25% of projects in the CDM pipeline and for the lowest carbon credits of any project category. Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director, underlined the possibilities in the sector, noting the “huge, cost-effective savings possible from addressing emissions from existing buildings alongside designing new ones that include passive and active solar up to low energy heating and cooling systems and energy efficient appliances.” He added that the CDM could evolve into “an even more creative mechanism, able to spark climate friendly buildings and construction.”

To reinforce the CDM, the report suggests: developing national energy efficiency building regulations, common baselines for the CDM, and energy efficiency evaluation tools; engaging the financial sector; and showcasing the potential through case studies and demonstration projects. [The Report