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Tracking progress

2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction is a reference document published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC). This year's edition finds that in 2020, the sector accounted for 36 per cent of global final energy consumption and 37 per cent of energy related CO2 emissions, as compared to other end use sectors. While the level of emissions within the sector are 10 per cent lower than in 2019, reaching lows not seen since 2007, this was largely due to lockdowns, slowing of economies, difficulties households and businesses faced in maintaining and affording energy access and a fall in construction activity. Efforts to decarbonize the sector played only a small role.

Energy and emissions

Collectively, stakeholders in the sector must seize the opportunity that the COVID-19 economic recovery period offers to foster transformation for decarbonizing the sector. The sector must simultaneously meet a projected near-doubling of global demand for energy services in buildings and at least a doubling of floor space as developing economies continue to respond to the growing demand for building floor space, access to energy services and economic activities.


Authors: Dr. Ian Hamilton and Dr. Harry Kennard from University College London (UCL) and Oliver Rapf, Dr. Judit Kockat, and Dr. Sheikh Zuhaib, Jelena Simjanovic, and Dr. Zsolt Toth from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), with contributions from Kanagaraj Ganesan and Anubha Ashtikar from Cool Coalition, from Thibaut Abergel, Yannick Monschauer, and Michael Oppermann from the International Energy Agency (IEA), and from Corinne Figueredo and Sarah Santucci from International Finance Corporation (IFC); with support support from Martina Otto, Jonathan Duwyn, and Nora Steurer from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)/Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), and support from Sophie Loran, Lily Riahi, and Irene Fagotto, from the United Nations Environment Programme/Cool Coalition. 


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