Energy Efficiency in Buildings and the Climate Challenge
Buildings are the largest energy consumers in the world. They account for around 30% of global carbon emissions, and over one-third of final energy use. This share could double or triple by 2050 if we do not act, as buildings have a long life-cycle that locks in their energy use.
According to the International Energy Agency, energy consumption in buildings needs to be reduced by 80% by 2050 if we want to limit global temperature rise to under 2˚C.
What is Energy Efficiency in Buildings?
Energy efficiency in buildings is a cost-effective way to improve balance sheets while contributing to the climate challenge, by:
- Producing economic and social benefits. Investing in a 30% improvement in building efficiency can have an internal rate of return of 28.6 % over a 10-year period1. In addition to reducing energy bills, it also increases the value of real estate assets and improves building users’ productivity, health and wellbeing through a better indoor environment.
- Anticipating regulatory requirements and pushing the energy performance of buildings upward.
- Reducing and/or eliminating GHG emissions.
It is also a major investment opportunity for the building value chain: for energy efficiency building retrofits, it represents between USD 231-300 billion per annum in investment globally by 20202 .
1 UNEP FI Investor Briefing, February 2014
2 UNEP FI Investor Briefing, February 2014