This Global Status Report documents the status and trends of key indicators for energy use, emissions, technologies, policies, and investments to track the buildings and construction sector, globally and in key regions. Central findings of this report include:
Buildings play a dominant role in the clean energy transition. Buildings construction and operations accounted for 36% of global final energy use and nearly 40% of energy‐related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2017.
Global buildings sector energy use continues to grow, but not as quickly as population or floor area. Heating, lighting and household cooking are the most improved building end uses. Continued increases in population and floor area are and will be the principal factors of rising energy demand in buildings.
Buildings and construction sector emissions appear to have levelled off since 2015, although they still represent the largest share of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. A clean energy transition will enable a steady decrease in future emissions.
Global dialogue is supporting progress in developing policies for sustainable buildings. Most countries have submitted nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that relate to buildings and some have improved them; however, many NDCs still lack specific actions.
Countries are continuing to implement and update building energy codes and certification policies. However, most expected future buildings growth is in countries that do not have mandatory energy codes and policies in place today.
Investment in energy efficiency in buildings has slowed. Incremental energy efficiency investment increased by 4.7% in 2017 (3% adjusted for inflation), which is the lowest rate of increase in recent years.
The key conclusions include:
International agreements and initiatives are providing direction.
Buildings sector policies and investments are not improving quickly enough.
Social and economic benefits are at hand and ready for the taking.
Achieving sustainable buildings and construction starts today.
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Evidence gathered by the International Energy Agency has identified six critical factors to guide policy makers in realising potential savings in both new and existing buildings through the modernisation of building energy codes.
The buildings sector contributes nearly 40% to global energy-related annual GHG emissions (IEA/UNEP, 2018). Final energy demand from buildings is predicted to increase 50% by 2050 compared with 2015 levels under business as usual scenarios due to rapid urbanisation and the doubling of the built surface area.
China has made energy conservation and energy efficiency one of its top priorities as a means of guiding its economic and social development. In the past three decades, while China’s economy increased eighteen‑fold, energy consumption increased only five‑fold. The energy intensity of China’s GDP declined by about seventy percent during the same period.