Newsletter 13 - COP21, a global deal

Dear colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that we can release this newsletter in a world which has now a cohesive and legally binding agreement to hold global warming below 2oC and strive towards keeping warming below 1.5oC. The GBPN has been one of many organisations that have worked in key regions, directly with governments to ensure they understand the potential of the build sector to contribute significantly to these goals. And it seems that we have had influence. The most important stage is now upon us - to make sure governments act and implement actions that get them on the below 2oC path before 2020. The building sector has the most cost-effective mitigation potential, and with the technology, know-how and support platforms available and proven in the field. This means there is no time to relax, we have four years to turn the the talk into walk - and there is no other sector more able to deliver.

There are at least four key elements of the Paris Agreement that offer critical opportunities for the Buildings & Construction sector. First is the need to raise the level of national ambition, the second is in the need for urgent and ambitious action before 2020, and the third is acknowledgment of cities, civil society and the private sector as critical for driving greater ambition. Fourth, a Global Alliance was initiated at COP21 by 20 nations to mobilize the sector’s significant technology, finance, and policy expertise and sustainable building experience. Supporting early action to decarbonize the building sector must therefore be at the top of the list for countries as they implement the Paris Agreement.

GBPN has also been very active in the lead-up to and during COP21. We have been involved in developing and launching the Global Alliance for Buildings & Construction which was launched on Buildings Day at COP21 on December 3. This Newsletter presents an over view of this important new initiative and links to the press coverage of the event. I was also honoured to be invited to present to the Climate Parliament, a convention of members of Parliament from around the world concerned about climate change, and the Achieving Net Zero by 2050 meeting hosted by Architecture 2030.

In other news, the GBPN in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in the USA, is now hosting the IPEEC-G20 Web Portal on Building Energy Codes, which is an initiative in support of the Major Economies Forum and the G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan for Buildings. We are welcoming 50 of the worlds experts on Building Energy Codes representing more that 20 countries. This increases our capability for capacity building, best-practice sharing and facilitating international collaboration to improve the implementation of policies that are essential to achieving long-term GHG mitigation.

We are delighted also to announce that GBPN has been given Partner Status by the United Nations Environment Program and is being commissioned to implement the Common Carbon Metric tool for baseline energy and emissions assessment of building stock. The methodology behind the tool is now an international standard, and when complete in mid 2016 will be put to use supporting Building Sector NAMAs in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Globally 2016 is shaping up as an exciting year - with a new global mandate for climate action in the building sector the GBPN will focus on opportunities for engaging our expert network in policy development and action planning, and working with World Resources Institute and other partners of the Buildings Efficiency Accelerator, building and implementing the Common Carbon Metric and contributing to the development and implementation of the new Global Alliance for Buildings & Construction.

It is also going to be an exciting year regionally - with GBPN EU Partner the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE) receiving a number of Horizon 2020 grants, including a major grant to develop the Buildings Observatory for Europe. In the USA our partner the Institute for Market Transformation has confirmed a second major grant to extend the City Energy Project for another three years. More information in this edition.

To all our collaborators, partners, colleagues and friends - thank you for your hard work and inspiration this year. We can definitely say that we helped make history this year. Now we have finally arrived at the true beginning of our greatest challenge – turning these inspiring words into action. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Peter Graham, Executive Director


Category iconNEWS

A global spotligh on energy efficiency in buildings

10.12.2015 | Global Programme

In light of the launch of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction during Buildings Day at COP21 there was even more focus put on energy efficiency in buildings and the positive effects it could have. 

A recent article in the LA Times points to the fact that buildings are responsible for about 40% of global energy use and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. It goes on saying that "The fossil fuels we rely on to generate this electricity create carbon dioxide emissions that trap heat in the atmosphere, resulting in a greenhouse effect. To achieve the goal of preventing global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius — 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit — experts say improving buildings' energy efficiency is crucial."


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Category iconNEWS

New report and web portal support greater energy savings from buildings through international collaboration on building energy codes

20.11.2015 | Global Programme

The International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), in partnership with the Global Building Performance Network (GBPN) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), recently completed a new report on key areas for international collaboration on building energy code implementation. The three organizations also launched a new web portal to facilitate more efficient international exchange of practices and experiences in the implementation of building energy codes.

The report serves as an input to ongoing discussions among major economies to advance energy efficiency and other elements of a sustainable energy future.

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Category iconNEWS

series of webinars on building energy codes

12.11.2015 | Global Programme

GBPN organised in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) two webinars this autumn covering different aspects of building energy codes and their benefits. The materials (recordings and presentations) of the webinars are now available. The first webinar was on the implementation of building energy codes and the second one was on the topic of implementation and compliance actions.

The webinars were mainly based on the information found on the Building Energy Codes Portal.

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Category iconNetwork update

15.12.2015 | EU Programme




During the second half of 2015 BPIE worked on a series of different topics:

• A new BPIE discussion paper describes the role of the buildings sector, presenting strategies and enabling measures to speed up its interaction with the energy sector. The paper argues for a comprehensive vision for the integration of demand response, renewable energy production and storage in buildings and calls for a stronger policy focus on the topic.
• A new tool, available on BPIE’s Data Hub, allows users to view statistical data related to the energy performance of residential buildings. The tool shows the characteristics of the housing stock current state for 20 countries and modernisation trends determined based on monitoring pilot actions of the energy refurbishment progress for 16 countries resulting from the EPISCOPE project.
• The implementation of the EPBD requirements is lagging behind in the European Member States: there is a need for further governance and technical provisions to increase its effectiveness. BPIE consulted a variety of stakeholders (from NGOs, networks and alliances, industry, etc.) during two workshops, before submitting input on the EPBD review to the European Commission.
• The WebTool to track the impact of policy measures and foresee energy use, developed during the IEE project TABULA, has been upgraded in order to showcase new buildings requirements and nZEB standards at country level.
• BPIE’s latest report, Renovation in practice, analyses a variety of approaches and solutions available to tackle the renovation challenge in terms of scale, financing, addressing non-technical barriers, level of ambition and achievement of social objectives

For more details please see

15.12.2015 | US PROGRAMME


December 4, 2015—Paris, France - “Today, I am pleased to represent the Institute for Market Transformation and the City Energy Project at the Climate Summit for Local Leaders in Paris, France, to announce a major reinvestment in the City Energy Project from our funders, supporting an additional three years of work with $10.5 million in new funding, raising the project’s total funding to $20 million. This joint initiative of IMT and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is actively working with leaders in U.S. cities to make a dramatic positive impact on our cities’ resilience, health, and prosperity by targeting their largest source of energy use and climate pollution: buildings. We cannot make significant, lasting progress toward critical climate goals without addressing building energy use, and it is local leaders such as those involved in the City Energy Project who are actively undertaking leadership roles in charting the path toward this outcome. We are honored to participate in this important work with them—work that would not be possible without the generosity and support of our funders, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation, to whom we are grateful for their continued investment.

“Through the City Energy Project, we are supporting cities as they act quickly, foster a diversity of innovation, capture best practices, and collaborate to create permanent market change. The results can be enormous. We estimate that the combined action of the 10 cities participating in the City Energy Project could reduce energy bills by over $900 million annually and reduce carbon pollution equivalent to taking 1 to 1.3 million passenger vehicles off the road each year.

“We are energized by this renewed commitment to the City Energy Project and look forward to working with cities across the U.S., our partners, and our funders to create more efficient, healthier, and prosperous buildings, cities, states, and countries.”


Category iconLABORATORY

Buildings Energy codes portal

14.09.2015 | Global Programme

This web portal supports efficient international knowledge exchange on building energy code implementation by providing information, experience, and resources from around the world. This web portal has been developed in consultation with governments participating in the IPEEC Building Energy Efficiency Taskgroup (BEET). Recognizing that a number of online resources exist for general information on building energy codes, the information provided on this site provides an overview of the implementation of building energy code systems according to specific topics.

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