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Tracking progress

2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction is a reference document of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC). The fifth edition of this annual snapshot of the progress of the buildings and construction sector globally towards the achievement of the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, particularly on the drivers of CO2 emissions and energy demand globally and the status of policies, finance, technologies, and solutions that support a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector. This year’s Buildings-GSR features input from over 110 GlobalABC members and experts from all regions: a true collaborative effort, building a global community. This year’s Buildings-GSR shines a light on the disruptions of COVID-19 and some of the responses in 2020, and includes a snapshot on emerging key issues: materials, nature-based solutions, health, and cooling for resilience. It also introduces a new index to track progress in decarbonisation in the sector – the Buildings Climate Tracker (BCT).

While the total final energy consumption of the global buildings sector remained at the same level in 2019 compared to the previous year, CO2 emissions from the operation of buildings have increased to their highest level yet at around 10 GtCO2, or 28% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. With the inclusion of emissions from the buildings construction industry, this share increases to 38% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. The slightly lower proportion of buildings emissions compared with the 39% seen in 2018 was due to the increases in transport and other industry emissions relative to buildings.

2020 Buildings GSR

Sources: (IEA 2020d; IEA 2020b). All rights reserved. Adapted from “IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances” and “Energy Technology Perspectives".

Worryingly, the GlobalABC’s new Buildings Climate Tracker–which considers measures such as incremental energy efficiency investment in buildings and the share of renewable energy in global buildings – finds that the rate of annual improvement is decreasing. It in fact halved between 2016and2019. To get the buildings sector on track to achieving net-zero carbon by 2050, all actors across the buildings value chain need to increase decarbonization actions and their impact by a factor of five. 

Even though progress in efficiency efforts has not kept up with an increase in sectoral growth, there are positive signs and opportunities to catch up on climate action, the report finds.

 

Authors: Dr. Ian Hamilton and Dr. Harry Kennard from University College London (UCL) and Oliver Rapf, Dr. Judit Kockat and Dr. Sheikh Zuhaib from the Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), with support from Thibaut Abergel and Michael Oppermann from the International Energy Agency (IEA), and support from Martina Otto, Sophie Loran, Nora Steurer and Natacha Nass from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC)

 

Download here the previous editions:

GSR2019