China’s largest wind turbine facility, the Dabancheng Wind Power Station. Photo by Dan Lundberg/Flickr
Buildings currently account for a third of global energy use. That share will grow as populations urbanize and cities expand, and as increased incomes spur demand for services like air conditioning and computers.
As part of the NDC Partnership’s Expert Perspective series, Meredydd Evans of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has published a new paper to help Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) implementation by outlining successful approaches to building energy efficiency and three essential elements to NDC implementation.
Most countries have tremendous opportunities to lock in significant cost savings and significant emissions reductions through building energy efficiency investments and NDCs implementation. Evans cites that 53 countries representing 63 percent of global building energy consumption mention building energy efficiency in their NDCs – from large countries like China and the U.S. to smaller countries like Afghanistan and Ivory Coast.
According to Evans, these strategies span multiple approaches other nations can emulate including energy codes, appliance standards, efficiency resource standards, rating systems, renovation targets, and consumption goals – in fact many countries already aim to require net-zero energy buildings in their codes by 2040.
However, differences in construction rates and building lifespans mean a successful approach in one country may not work for another: Construction is booming in Asia and buildings have 30-40 year lifespans, but European buildings tend to last 100 years or more. In this example, building codes are critical in Asia but retrofit policies tend to dominate in Europe.
Despite these differences, the paper outlines three common elements that are essential to achieving climate targets through building energy efficiency initiatives:
For more information about the role of building efficiency can play in NDC implementation, and details on the strategies countries are already deploying to meet download “Building Energy Efficiency and the Nationally Determined Contributions,” completed by Meredydd Evans for the NDC Partnership.