Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom: Today at the COP26 #BuildingsPavilion, a group of nations, companies, and organizations announced the launch of a global collaborative effort to accelerate the adoption of clean heating solutions for buildings: the "Clean Heat Forum - Accelerating heating decarbonization in buildings with the GlobalABC”.
Decarbonized heating in buildings is about providing healthy, safe, comfortable homes and workplaces for people. It touches upon questions of justice, energy poverty, and basic needs. Achieving net-zero in the buildings sector will require a triple approach, including reducing energy demand, decarbonizing power supply, and addressing materials/embodied carbon. For the first two especially, heating plays a key role and it can be addressed through multiple interventions, including appliances and refrigerants, power supply, and envelope. Coordinated action on policy and technology for key low/zero carbon solutions can make the transition faster, cheaper and easier for all. Globally, several countries, regions, cities, companies, and organizations are starting to take action, but such efforts could greatly benefit from cross-fertilization and exchange of best practices and co-creation of standards, policies, and innovation.
The Clean Heat Forum, developed under the umbrella of the GlobalABC, consists of countries, regions, cities, companies, and organizations seeking to advance building heating decarbonization through:
- Shaping a joint vision and mission in line with the GlobalABC Roadmaps for Buildings and Construction
- Shaping and exchanging of best practices and cross-fertilization of ideas for building heating decarbonization including policies, incentives, technologies, regulations, and public engagement
- Co-creation of standards as basis for future legislation and regulation to drive change and underpin investor certainty.
- Working towards joint calls to support international collaboration on shared supply chain, technology and innovation challenges
- Making the case for action by other parties to accelerate heating decarbonisation in buildings to meet global Paris Agreement goals
Heating with fossil fuels is responsible for a large share of direct greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which in turn accounts for around 9% of global energy-related emissions. While we have clean heating solutions – like highly efficient heat pumps, district energy solutions, deep retrofits, and better building design – at our fingertips, adoption has lagged and these solutions remain inaccessible to many. By bringing public and private sector leaders together, the Clean Heat Forum will fill a critical gap, enabling participants to co-create and share best practices, policies, standards, and public engagement strategies to reduce one of the largest sources of climate-disrupting air pollution. Accelerated deployment of efficient and clean heating technologies, appropriate building design, and associated solutions will also help reduce health and energy burdens, increasing prosperity and creating more employment. The scope of the Clean Heat Forum therefore follows an ‘avoid, shift, improve’ approach, where heating load should be reduced and heating sources should be decarbonised.
The UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy leads this effort and is joined by Germany (BMU & dena), Jordan (MEMR), the Scottish Directorate for Energy and Climate Change, the City of Prague, RMI, E3G, the European Heat Pump Association, REN21, the Danish Energy Agency, KT-Energy LLC, RAP and Octopus Energy Group.
The UK Government’s Minister for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility, Lord Callanan, said:
“Decarbonising heating remains one of the most significant challenges for reaching net zero emissions – but also provides major opportunities in reducing local air pollution and creating high-skill jobs. To help countries overcome the barriers for decarbonising heat, greater collaboration will be required so policymakers can share best practice, scale markets for clean heating and energy efficiency solutions across multiple countries, and better facilitate private sector partnerships. It is for this reason that we launch the Clean Heat Forum, under the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction today.”
Scotland’s Zero Carbon Buildings Minister, Patrick Harvie, said:
“Emissions from buildings are a global challenge – whether from heating them in a cold country like Scotland, or keeping them cool in hotter parts of the world. We want to work with other like-minded countries to tackle these challenges head-on – working together on the important technical, financial, and regulatory issues needed to transform the world’s building stock. I am delighted that, during COP26, we deepened our long-standing partnership with Denmark, signing a new Memorandum of Understanding deepening our collaboration on heat and energy efficiency. We must work together to tackle climate change, which is why I am proud that Scotland has now become a founding member of a broader alliance of like-minded governments, industry, and civil society in the Clean Heat Forum, alongside others such as Germany and Denmark. We encourage other countries to work with us in a shared endeavour to tackle common challenges in the decarbonisation of heat across the world.”