We need to act now to reduce the contributions of buildings to climate change: buildings tend to last for at least 30-50 years – and 60 years from now, all buildings should be net-zero emissions if the world is to stay under a 2°C scenario. But only one-quarter of NDCs submitted by governments in support of the Paris Agreement mentioned building efficiency. Countries can sharpen a focus on new buildings – and on prioritizing implementation of a building code roadmap toward net zero. Energy use in buildings today represents roughly one-third of global energy consumption and 20 percent of GHG emissions. Without major shifts in design, construction and building operation, energy demand from buildings will grow substantially in coming decades, especially in rapidly urbanizing developing economies. By 2050, the global floor area in buildings is expected to double to more than 415 billion square meters, and energy demand could increase by 50 percent. This session will describe these challenges, opportunities and WRI’s work with cities, national governments and the private sector to develop and implement policies that build the foundation for market transformation for efficient buildings.

Speakers: Eric Mackres and Debbie Weyl