Buildings are responsible for 30 per cent of the world’s GHG emissions and 40 per cent of its energy use, says the World Green Building Council, and their new report entitled Tackling Global Climate Change – Meeting Local Priorities, shows how countries around the world are using green buildings to reduce this global impact while meeting local priorities such as affordable housing, environmental protection, job creation and economic development.
“If targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction are to be met, decision-makers must unlock the potential of the building sector with much greater seriousness and vigor than they have to date and make mitigation of building-related emissions a cornerstone of every national climate change strategy. Together, we must raise awareness of the important role of this sector as a priority in meeting national GHG emission reduction targets. We must form national and regional baselines for building-related emissions using a consistent international approach, such as the Common Carbon Metric to measure, report, and verify performance,” said Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, in the report. “We must also support energy efficiency and emission reduction programmes in the building sector by recognizing them as a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) and reforming the Clean Development Mechanism to improve energy efficiency and reduce correlating GHG emissions at the lowest average CO2 abatement cost relative to other sectors. This sector is responsible for 60 per cent of the world’s electricity consumption resulting in 1/3 of global energy end-use greenhouse gas emissions, earning its title as single largest contributor to human-created emissions. Public policy is vital in triggering investment in energy efficient building stock, achieving energy and cost savings, reducing emissions, and creating millions of quality jobs. In developing countries where more than 50 per cent of households (up to 80 per cent in rural Africa) have no access to electricity, affordable, energy efficient, low-carbon housing helps address energy poverty.”
The report is available for download here, or at http://www.worldgbc.org/