World Bank Stresses Housing Sector’s Mitigation Potential

18 June 2010: Addressing the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Katherine Sierra, Vice President, Sustainable Development, World Bank, underscored the potential of the housing sector in terms of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.Noting that cities are the primary source of environmental pollution, she emphasized that, at present, cities consume over 60% of total global energy production and contribute to 70% of the world's GHG emissions. In light of the impacts of climate change, Sierra stressed the need to "stop, and then reverse, the dangerous growth in GHG levels," underscoring the importance of energy efficiency in the building industry.

She recalled that the two major priorities for increased international cooperation in the near term identified by the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change are improving energy access and strengthening energy efficiency. She added that the Advisory Group has set the complementary goal of reducing global energy intensity by 40% by 2030.

Sierra concluded by outlining the World Bank's work with developing countries and emerging economies, helping them seize the opportunities that energy efficiency presents. The Forum took place from 17-19 June 2010, in St Petersburg, Russian Federation. [World Bank Press Release] [International Economic Forum Website]