The GLOBE Alliance (Global Leadership in Our Built Environment)
Current and Projected Building Sector Emissions by World Region
Despite these facts, sustainable buildings have received alarmingly little attention on a global scale. Reducing and avoiding emissions from this sector can be achieved with available, off-the-shelf technologies, but the road to implementation is fraught with obstacles. The various processes designed to facilitate technology cooperation, finance, and mitigation largely fail to address the nuanced problems in the building sector. For example, out of the 4,500 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects submitted for review, only 14 address building efficiency. Bilateral efforts often prioritize the building sector for joint action but are, by design, limited in their geographic focus.
As shown in the graph above, developing countries represent the greatest opportunity for reductions, underscoring the need for an international effort to rapidly enhance sustainable building practices in such countries and to capitalize on this emission reduction potential.
1. Levine, M. et al. 2007. “Chapter 6: Residential and commercial buildings.” In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
2. Based on the IPCC A1 Emissions Scenario; adapted from data in: Prince, L., et al. 2006. Sectoral trends in global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: Berkeley, California.
3. Technology Action Plan: Buildings Sector Energy Efficiency, Report to the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. Prepared by the United States in consultation with MEF Partners. December, 2009, pp. 7; The Kyoto Protocol, The Clean Development Mechanism, and the Building and Construction Sector, U.N. Environment Programme Sustainable Buildings and Climate Program (UNEP SBCI), 2008, pp. 1-3.
4. Data as of April, 2009. UNEP and UNEP SBCI, Buildings and Climate Change, Summary for Decision-Makers, 2009.
5. Levine, M. et al, 2007, Op cit.