United Nations Environment Program warns: Rise in energy use and emissions in construction | sciences

United Nations Environment Program warns: Rise in energy use and emissions in construction |  sciences
United Nations Environment Program warns: Rise in energy use and emissions in construction |  sciences

United Nations Environment Program warns: Rise in energy use and emissions in construction | sciences

The Global Status of Building and Construction Report is a flagship publication of the Global Building and Construction Alliance, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme

A new UN report warns that energy use in the construction sector is rising and carbon emissions are at an all-time high despite increased investment in energy efficiency solutions.

in a report The global state of construction and construction 2022 – This was published the day before yesterday, Wednesday, November 9 of this year, in the latest round of summit talks of the parties to the Paris climate agreement currently taking place in Egypt, “COP 27” – researchers said that the construction sector represents more than 34% of the world energy consumption and about 37% of energy and CO2 emissions related to operations in 2021.

The Buildings-GSR Global Status Report is a flagship publication of the Global Building and Construction Alliance hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme.

The report provides an annual overview of progress in the buildings and construction sector on a global scale, reviews the state of policies, finance, technologies and solutions to monitor the sector’s alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and provides stakeholders with evidence to persuade policymakers and the construction industry in general to take action.

United Nations Environment Program warns: Rise in energy use and emissions in construction |  sciences
Emissions related to the sector’s operating capacity have reached 10 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Getty)

gap expansion

Corresponding to the press release According to the report, released on the sidelines of the Sharm El-Sheikh climate summit, carbon emissions related to the sector’s operational energy reached 10 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is 5% more than the 2020 level and 2% more than the peak before the emerging corona virus pandemic COVID-19 in 2019.

In 2021, operational energy demand for heating, cooling, lighting and equipment in buildings increased by 4% compared to 2020 and by 3% compared to 2019, meaning that the gap between the sector’s climate performance and the 2050 decarbonization path is widening.

In a press statement following Wednesday afternoon’s press conference attended by Al Jazeera Net, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Anderson, who oversees the production of the report, said the construction sector accounts for almost 40% of construction needs energy alone in Europe, 80% of this energy comes from fossil fuels.

Therefore, the sector needs to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, reduce the carbon footprint of building materials, double down on political commitments with companies and increase investment in energy efficiency.

The sector needs to improve the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce the carbon footprint of building materials (Getty Images)

Anderson explained that this ratio makes dealing with this sector an urgent need for immediate action, investment and action to improve energy security in the short and long term as years of warnings about the impact of climate change have become a reality, most notably is that if this is not the case, the world will be in big trouble. The implementation of the commitments of the Paris Agreement will be accelerated.

The report observed a slight decrease in emissions intensity of the building and construction sector in kilograms of carbon dioxide per square meter from 43 kilograms in 2015 to 40 kilograms in 2021.

The energy density in kilowatt hours per square meter also fell slightly, from 153 kilowatts in 2015 to 152 kilowatts in 2021.

At the same time, investment in building energy efficiency has reached unprecedented levels, growing 16 percent from 2020 levels to $237 billion in 2021.

However, the volume of growth outstrips and reduces energy efficiency efforts, and the report calls for more investment in energy efficiency to reduce energy demand and avoid carbon emissions.

The report stresses that the construction and real estate industries should implement carbon neutral strategies for new and existing buildings (Getty Images).

Urgent recommendations

The report recommended forming coalitions of local stakeholders to define goals and strategies for a sustainable, carbon neutral and resilient construction sector.

Governments should also establish binding building energy codes and establish a path for their building codes and standards to reach net zero as quickly as possible.

The report’s authors stressed the need for governments and non-state actors to increase investment in energy efficiency, and for the construction and real estate sectors to implement carbon neutral strategies for new and existing buildings.

The construction and building materials industry must also commit to reducing carbon emissions throughout its value chain. In addition, fast-growing countries and economies must invest in building capacities and supply chains that promote energy-efficient designs and sustainable, low-carbon construction.


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