The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has published a study which calls for a 60% reduction in the energy use of buildings by 2050 to help meet global climate change targets.
Transforming the Market: Energy Efficiency in Buildings suggests that the ambitious carbon footprint reduction goals established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won’t let any industry off the hook, and the building sector must renew itself to cut carbon and embrace energy efficiency through a combination of public policies, technological innovation, informed customer choices, and smart business decisions.
“Buildings worldwide account for a surprisingly high 40% of global energy consumption [with] the resulting carbon footprint significantly exceeding those of all transportation combined,” says study co-chair George David, chairman of Connecticut’s United Technologies Corp. “Large and attractive opportunities to reduce energy use in buildings exist [today].” He added, “[We] have the capacity to reduce the carbon footprints of buildings by half over a decade and with reasonable financial return.”
The report takes a hard look at the building industry to understand what barriers exist to implementing energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies from a financial and market-driven perspective that explores an enormous number of variables, including climate, fuel options, and building design. Using a sophisticated computer simulation, the study outlines market responses to various combinations of financial, technical, behavioral, and policy options to create a transformation roadmap for the industry.
The full report is available for download as a PDF at the WBCSD.