A Guided Tour of Recently Launched Sustainable Building Initiatives

Mainstreaming sustainable buildings is essential if we are to effectively tackle climate change and provide sustainable urban environments. Despite the large number of organizations and programs in this space, the penetration of sustainable building practices is not yet mainstream in development activity, building & planning policies, or built environment education.

One year ahead of COP21 in Paris, a number of key initiatives have been announced to support activities that promote building energy efficiency to mitigate building-related GHG emissions. The GBPN calls for clear strategic coordination of these initiatives to avoid a confusing proliferation of activities that end up dissipating financial and human resources and missing the opportunity to effectively tackling climate change.

Sustainable Energy for All – Building Efficiency Accelerator

The GBPN is working with a coalition of organizations including the UNEP, UN Foundation, World Resources Institute and the IEA to develop an implementation strategy for the Sustainable Energy for All Building Efficiency Accelerator.

Sustainable Energy for All, an initiative led by the UN Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank, has as one of its three objectives for 2030 a doubling of the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency – critical to any scenario for limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. To help reach this objective, the Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform was created to drive commitment, action, and investment by national and subnational leaders at the country, city, state, or regional level. The formation of several sectoral implementing teams including for Building Efficiency was announced at the UN Climate Summit in New York. Each accelerator implementation team is jointly led by senior executives from the private sector, international organizations, and/or civil society.

The Platform’s Building Efficiency Accelerator includes over 75 leading organizations – companies that sell energy-efficient products and services, public and private financial institutions, government efficiency agencies, and civil society expert organizations – that have agreed to help local leaders put in place the policies, programs and incentives needed to quicken the pace of global deployment. implementation, supported by a global network of experts, institutions, and businesses.

Major Economies Forum Building Energy Efficiency Taskforce (BEET)
GBPN was the operating agent responsible for delivering the BEET 2 Report (November 2014) which surveyed countries participating in the major Economies Forum and IPEEC to establish key areas for international collaboration to improve building energy efficiency. GBPN is now collaborating with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in USA to produce ‘BEET 3’ – focussing on areas of collaboration to improve implementation of and compliance with building energy codes (April 2015).
G20 – Energy Efficiency Action Plan

An important Energy Efficiency Action Plan was announced in November at the last G20 in Brisbane Australia. “The G20 Energy Efficiency Action Plan is a practical plan to strengthen voluntary energy efficiency collaboration in a flexible way. It allows countries to share knowledge, experiences and resources by choosing, on an opt-in basis, preferred activities that best reflect their domestic priorities.” It sets out six priority areas for collaboration vehicles, products, finance, buildings, industrial energy management and electricity generation. It was pleasing to see G20 recommend the focus for Buildings activities be supporting the recommended areas of collaboration of the Major Economies Forum/IPEEC BEET program that GBPN helped identify. For more information, read lastest IPEEC newsletter available here.

Low Carbon Cities

GBPN is supporting C40’s Private Sector Building Efficiency Network to help improve policies that reduce energy demand and GHG emissions from existing privately owned buildings. Most recently, our review of methods for calculating the multiple benefits of municipal building energy efficiency programs has been included in Tokyo’s latest policy review.