In 2021, investments in building energy efficiency increased by 16% to USD 237 billion, but growth in floor space outpaced efficiency efforts
The sector’s 2021 operational energy-related CO2emissions were up 5 per cent over 2020 and 2 per cent over the pre-pandemic peak in 2019
SHARM EL SHEIKH, 9 November 2022 – Despite an increase in energy efficiency investment and lower energy intensity, the building and construction sector’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions have rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic to an all-time high, a new report finds.
Released at the latest round of climate talks in Egypt, COP27, the 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction finds that the sector accounted for over 34 per cent of energy demand and around 37 per cent of energy and process-related CO2 emissions in 2021.
The sector’s operational energy-related CO2 emissions reached ten gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent – five per cent over 2020 levels and two per cent over the pre-pandemic peak in 2019. In 2021, operational energy demand for heating, cooling, lighting and equipment in buildings increased by around four per cent from 2020 and three per cent from 2019.
This, according to the report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), means that the gap between the climate performance of the sector and the 2050 decarbonization pathway is widening.
“Years of warnings about the impacts of climate change have become a reality,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “If we do not rapidly cut emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, we will be in deeper trouble.”
“The buildings sector represents 40 per cent of Europe’s energy demand, 80 per cent of it from fossil fuels. This makes the sector an area for immediate action, investment, and policies to promote short and long-term energy security”
Decarbonizing the buildings sector by 2050 is critical to delivering these cuts. To reduce overall emissions, the sector must improve building energy performance, decrease building materials’ carbon footprint, multiply policy commitments alongside action and increase investment in energy efficiency.
Tenants have a vital part to play in real estate’s green transition. By focusing on green buildings and signing lease agreements with green buildings exclusively, tenants can drive the demand and subsequent development for sustainable real estate.
“Those who are already engaged in existing lease agreements can seize the opportunity to partner with their landlords and discuss ways of reducing the building’s energy consumption through new technology and retrofitting.
“In turn, this could offer tenants the unique prospect of a share in these investments and their value-added benefits. A survey by JLL found that green leases carried an average premium of 6%, proving that green real estate creates additional value for investors.
“JLL, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, created 10 Green Building Principles to guide owners and investors through this transition and benchmark progress, positioning them to reduce their emissions by 50% by 2030 and to be net zero no later than 2050. By following these simple steps, from determining the carbon footprints of assets to setting green lease targets, companies and investors can create a personalised roadmap to net zero. We believe it easier to get to net zero in the built environment than it is for many companies to get to net zero in their core operations. Green buildings are relatively easy to develop. Every new development should be a green development.
“Additionally, the process of transitioning brown buildings to green buildings presents owners with the unique and prolific opportunity to address energy optimisation and explore on- and off-site renewables, attracting the growing market of green-conscious investors and, with it, the mounting pressure for others to follow suit.
“In the next five years, experts foresee industry leaders across all sectors moving ahead on the journey to decarbonization.
“Despite the ongoing global disruptions, which are expected to continue, real estate owners, developers, and occupiers should seize the opportunity to rebalance their real estate portfolios.
“From constructing new buildings to retrofitting the old, green real estate offers ample opportunities to not only accelerate sustainability, but bolster regeneration and resilience.”
Build coalitions of national stakeholders to set targets and strategies towards a sustainable, zero-carbon and resilient buildings and construction sector through Buildings Roadmaps. Following the GlobalABC roadmaps process and model,more than 30 countries and territories have been developing roadmaps.
National and sub-national governmentsmust establish mandatory building energy codes and set a pathway for their building codes and standards to achieve net zero as soon as possible.
Governments and non-state actors must increase their investment in energy efficiency.
Theconstruction and real estate industries must implement zero-carbon strategies for new and existing buildings.
The building materials and construction industries must commit to reducing their CO2 emissions throughout their value chain.
Governments, especially cities, need to implement policies that promote the shift to ‘circular material economies’.
Fast-growing countries and economies need investment in capacity-building and supply chains that promote energy-efficient designs, low-carbon and sustainable construction.
Parsaland Trading Company with many activities in the fields of import and export, investment consulting, blockchain consulting, information technology and building construction