UNEP Stresses Mitigation Role of Energy-Efficient Buildings
11 December 2009: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a report titled "Buildings and Climate Change - Summary for Decision Makers," which finds that energy-efficient buildings could significantly contribute to climate change mitigation and seeks to ensure that negotiators at the UN Copenhagen Climate Change Conference have the information needed to incorporate emissions from buildings into a global strategy on climate change.
The report was produced by UNEP's Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative, a think tank and partnership between the UN and leading companies and organizations in the building sector. According to the report, it is estimated that, at present, buildings contribute one-third of total global greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through the use of fossil fuels during their operational phase. This figure is predicted to increase to 15.6 billion tons by 2030. In addition, population growth, urbanization and modernization are driving new building construction, which is expected to lead to an almost doubling of existing building stock in developing countries by 2050.
The report highlights the opportunity lying within the building sector to deliver cuts in greenhouse gas emissions through policies, technologies and knowledge that already exist to deliver the cuts needed. Accompanying the report is the first globally consistent Common Carbon Metric for Buildings, which provides a common language for measuring greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency of buildings.[UNEP Press Release][The Report][Common Carbon Metric]