UNEP Says Buildings Can Play a Key Role in Combating Climate Change

Oslo (March 29, 2007)- A report from the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Sustainable Construction and Building Initiative (SBCI), entitled “Buildings and Climate Change: Status, Challenges and Opportunities,” finds that significant gains can be made in efforts to combat global warming by reducing energy use and improving energy efficiency in buildings. Better use of concrete, metals, and timber in construction and less use of energy for everything from air conditioners to lighting in homes and offices could save billions of dollars in a sector accounting for 30-40 percent of world energy use.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said “Energy efficiency, along with cleaner and renewable forms of energy generation, is one of the pillars upon which a de-carbonized world will stand or fall. The savings that can be made right now are potentially huge and the costs to implement them relatively low if sufficient numbers of governments, industries, businesses and consumers act.”
“This report focuses on the building sector. By some conservative estimates, the building sector world-wide could deliver emission reductions of 1.8 billion tonnes of C02. A more aggressive energy efficiency policy might deliver over two billion tonnes or close to three times the amount scheduled to be reduced under the Kyoto Protocol,” Steiner added.
For more information, visit the United Nations Environment Programme.
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