Planet-warming emissions from buildings put climate goals at risk
(EurActiv, 17 Dec 2020) Planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from buildings and construction are jeopardising global goals to keep devastating climate change at bay, a UN-backed coalition warned on Wednesday (16 December), after data showed they hit an all-time high in 2019.
The use of coal, oil and natural gas for heating, lighting and cooking fuelled a rise in emissions from the operation of buildings to about 10 gigatons last year, including direct emissions and indirect emissions from power generation, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) said.
Another key factor is growing energy demand for cooling as air-conditioner ownership rises with worsening extreme heat.
Together, building operations and construction now account for nearly 40% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, GlobalABC added in a report.
“In 2019, the buildings and construction sector moved away and not towards the Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global mean temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius,” said GlobalABC.
However, pandemic recovery packages and more ambitious emissions reduction pledges under the Paris accord, now being made in the run-up to the 2021 UN climate summit, provide opportunities to change course, it added.