Effective climate protection starts in the building sector, which can yield significant energy and emissions savings.The governments of several countries – including Ukraine and El Salvador – are implementing measures to achieve climate efficiency in new construction and modernisation projects.This helps them reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Buildings play a crucial role in shaping a low-carbon future. Space heating and cooling, water heating and lighting are among the big fossil fuel consumers worldwide. In 2017, real estate accounted for around one third of global energy consumption and produced 39 per cent of all energy-related CO2 emissions. Global population growth and rising living standards in developing countries are fuelling an increase in consumption. The International Energy Agency estimates that the use of energy for electricity and heating in buildings will double, if not triple, by 2050.
To ensure this does not happen, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) was launched in December 2015 at the United Nations Climate Conference, COP 21. This initiative connects governments, the private sector and civil society to foster sustainable construction featuring low-emissions and energy-efficiency. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports several governments with climate-friendly measures for new and old buildings. On behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), ministries of power and energy, for instance, receive advice on obtaining climate finance and on saving energy in the building sector. The approaches are scaled up through GlobalABC so that even more buildings in the world are modernised or so that buildings can be designed to be climate-friendly prior to construction.