Climate Action in the Buildings Sector: How to Incorporate Buildings Actions in Nationally Determined Contributions
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is a historic achievement for humanity and for the Building Sector. We now have a common legally binding agreement to hold global warming well below 2oC with aspiration to achieve 1.5oC integrated with frameworks for action on resilience and adaptation.
A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of catching up with one of the hero’s of the V.W. emissions scandal, Drew Kodjak, the Executive Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). His team performed road tests on a small random sample of EU imported cars and found discrepancies. They reported them to State authorities, which ran more tests, found the same discrepancy, and then reported to the U.S. EPA. The process took about 18 months, and well, you probably know the rest of the story.
Have you seen President Obama's speech announcing the U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan?
The Clean Power Plan is a key element of the US’s contribution to climate action and the debate on the global agreement taking shape ahead of COP21 in Paris this December. Beyond the content of the Plan itself, the rhetoric of Obama’s launch speech and the way he communicated the vision and role for his country is important for all leaders as we prepare for COP21.
In the last couple of weeks I was fortunate to have attended two important meetings in Paris convened by separate groups, but each with the same aim of developing actions that could again raise the profile of building energy efficiency and the potential of the sector to contribute significantly to achieving climate change goals. At the same time a different set of stakeholders with the same objectives was meeting in New York. All groups are looking ahead to COP21 in Paris as a potential catalyst for finally mainstreaming sustainable buildings and cities. However, despite common intentions, we risk failing to seize this opportunity due to a lack strategic coordination.
Integrating Renewable Energy Requirements in Building Codes is Key to Helping the Building Sector Achieve its Mitigation Potential
Open Data for a Change: A New Online Tool to Access Free Analysis of the Energy Savings Potential of Buildings
Given the reported lack of data on how buildings use energy and the impacts of building energy policy, policy makers and investors may feel like prisoners in Plato’s cave. How to make the right decisions chained in the dark with the perceptions that low energy buildings are unaffordable, that investing in energy efficiency renovation provides no return, that setting energy performance targets is bad for business, or that there is no way of meeting demand for urban housing while actually reducing total energy demand from buildings?
GBPN is moving forward in making building data transparent and publically available as well as engaging with various organizations into knowledge exchange.
In 2012 GBPN conducted a comprehensive study together with the Centre for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP – Central European University) focused on the scenario analysis of building energy use and related CO2 emissions and mitigation potential of energy efficiency improvements.