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Natural Environment

Towards zero-emission efficient and resilient buildings

As a follow-up to Buildings Day at COP22 in Marrakech, November 2016, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC), of which RICS is a founding member, has now launched its first Global Status Report.

Ursula Hartenberger, Global Head of Sustainability, RICS
14 September 2017

The report describes the current status of the global buildings sector in terms of its energy-demand supply, related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and financing and policy developments to date.

Some of the baseline figures:

  • More than one-third of global final energy consumption is used in buildings and construction.
  • The built environment contributes to nearly one-quarter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide.
  • Population growth and higher consumption levels in emerging economies and developing countries could lead to an increase in energy demand in buildings by 50% by 2050.
  • Building floor area is set to rise by 50% by 2050, further driving energy consumption.

Global status

The global building sector consumed nearly 122 exajoules (EJ) (equivalent to 34 x 10 gigawatt-hours [GWh]) in 2014, over 30% of total final energy consumption for all sectors of the economy, having increased by more than 35% since 1990.

Buildings also accounted for half of global electricity demand, with electricity consumption increasing by more than 500% in some regions since 1990. When upstream power generation is taken into account, the building sector therefore represents roughly 30% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

Tracking annual progress

RICS is actively involved in shaping the 2017 version of the report will provide annual tracking progress towards meeting climate commitments and the buildings sector’s contribution to achieving the below 2oC global warming target.

Global status

The global building sector consumed nearly 122 exajoules (EJ) (equivalent to 34 x 10 gigawatt-hours [GWh]) in 2014, over 30% of total final energy consumption for all sectors of the economy, having increased by more than 35% since 1990.

Buildings also accounted for half of global electricity demand, with electricity consumption increasing by more than 500% in some regions since 1990. When upstream power generation is taken into account, the building sector therefore represents roughly 30% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

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