Skip to main content

The Whitepaper: The neglected demand side of the green equation, published by Danfoss during COP27, highlights:

  • Without urgent action, energy demand will grow significantly, getting us off track to meet global climate goals. Instead, according to IEA a collective push for energy efficiency can deliver one-third of the total emissions reductions needed to reach net zero.
  • Cooling is a global blind spot in climate change mitigation. As economies grow and adapt to a warmer climate, especially in the Global South, demand for cooling will make the second-largest contribution to the overall rise in global electricity demand over the coming decades.
  • Energy efficiency is an enabler of electrification. To grow the role of electricity in the energy mix it is a fundamental, yet overlooked, fact that we need to reduce energy demand first. An early analysis found that for every dollar spent on energy efficiency, we can avoid spending more than 2 dollars on energy supply.
  • Most of the global reductions in carbon emissions through 2030 needed for net zero come from technologies readily available today. This paper presents concrete policy measures to increase energy efficiency across sectors.

Download and read more here 

2022-11-14 | Julia Meisel, Mia Reback, Michael Donatti, Zach Clayton, Emma Loewen, Lindsay Rasmussen, Jacob Korn, Rushad Nanavatty

Global challenges are pushing cities to their breaking point. With cities expected to house 68 per cent of the world’s population by 2050, warming twice as fast as the global average, and disproportionately affected by extreme weather, we need to use every tool at our disposal to ensure a low-carbon, livable, resilient, and equitable urban future. One frequently overlooked tool with great potential is urban nature — cities’ forests, parks, street trees, green stormwater infrastructure, and bodies of water. 

Dowload the report and read more about the chapter "Buildings — Energy, Carbon, and Cost Savings" here 


OECD Regions and Cities at a Glance presents indicators on individual regions and cities since the turn of the new millennium. It provides a comprehensive picture of past successes and likely challenges that regions and cities in OECD members and partner countries will face in their efforts to build stronger, more sustainable and more resilient economies. By relying on a combination of traditional and more innovative data sources, OECD Regions and Cities at a Glance describes the evolving nature of spatial disparities within countries from a multidimensional perspective. New topics covered by this edition include the economic impact of recent shocks, such as the pandemic and the energy crisis, housing affordability, climate change and digitalisation.


Climate change is landing blow after blow upon humanity and the planet, an onslaught that will only intensify in the coming years even if the world begins to bring down greenhouse gas emissions. UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report 2022: Too Little, Too Slow – Climate adaptation failure puts world at risk finds that the world must urgently increase efforts to adapt to these impacts of climate change.

Read more here

2022-10-26 | Sophie Boehm, Louise Jeffery, Kelly Levin, Judit Hecke, Clea Schumer, Claire Fyson, Aman Majid, Joel Jaeger, Anna Nilsson, Stephen Naimoli, Joe Thwaites, Emily Cassidy, Katie Lebling, Michelle Sims, Richard Waite, Ryan Wilson, Sebastian Castellanos, Neela
Bezos Earth Fund, Climate Action Tracker, Climate Analytics, ClimateWorks Foundation, NewClimate Institute, the United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions, and World Resources Institute

The State of Climate Action 2022 provides a comprehensive assessment of the global gap in climate action across the world’s highest-emitting systems (power, buildings, industry, transport, forests and land, food and agriculture, technological carbon removal, and finance), highlighting where recent progress made in reducing GHG emissions, scaling up carbon removal, and increasing climate finance must accelerate over the next decade to keep the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit warming to 1.5°C within reach.

Read more here


As growing climate change impacts are experienced across the globe, the message that greenhouse gas emissions must fall is unambiguous. Yet the Emissions Gap Report 2022: The Closing Window – Climate crisis calls for rapid transformation of societies finds that the international community is falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place. Only an urgent system-wide transformation can avoid climate disaster.  

Read the Chapter 5 - Transformations needed to achieve the Paris Agreement in electricity supply, industry, buildings and transportation to find out more on actions that accelerate or hinder the transformation of the buildings sector.

2022-11-09 | BPIE, UCL

The Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR) is a flagship publication of the UNEP-hosted Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC). The Buildings-GSR provides an annual snapshot of the progress of the buildings and construction sector on a global scale and reviews the status of policies, finance, technologies, and solutions to monitor whether the sector is aligned with the Paris Agreement goals. It also provides stakeholders with evidence to persuade policymakers and the overall buildings and construction community to take action.

What is new in the 2022 Buildings-GSR

  • Buildings and construction: disruptions and challenges facing the buildings sector in 2022 
  • Global Building Carbon Tracker: Are we on track towards the Paris Agreement Goals?
  • Updates on building codes and building decarbonisation in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
  • Status of investment in building energy efficiency
  • Deep dive on:
    • Africa (regional focus)
    • Building materials (topical focus)

The 2022 Buildings-GSR finds that 

  • Despite a substantial increase in investment and success at a global level lowering the energy intensity of buildings, the sector’s total energy consumption and CO2 emissions increased in 2021 above pre-pandemic levels. Buildings energy demand increased by around 4% from 2020 to 135 EJ – the largest increase in the last 10 years. CO2 emissions from buildings operations have reached an all-time high of around 10 GtCO2, around a 5% increase from 2020 and 2% higher than the previous peak in 2019. 
  • The buildings and construction sector is not on track to achieve decarbonization by 2050. And the gap between the actual climate performance of the sector and the decarbonization pathway is widening.
  • Global energy price volatility and rising interest rates are likely to hamper investment in building decarbonization by governments, households, and businesses. 

Download our 2022 Buildings-GSR and read more!


Watch our video "Is the Buildings and Construction Sector on Track to decarbonize? 2022 Buildings-GSR.

2022-08-31 | Alice Charles, Ranjith Reddy Challa, and Kangkang Tong
World Economic Forum

Cities need to take a systems approach if they are to develop urban infrastructure that will achieve net-zero carbon and climate-resilience goals. This report focuses on such a systems approach at the urban scale. Cities are responsible for more than 70% of global carbon dioxide emissions, with transport and buildings being among the largest contributors. Cities will also feel the greatest impact from climate change, with 70% of the global population predicted to be living in urban areas by 2050, and 95% of this urban expansion set to take place in the developing world. The report outlines case studies that provide in-depth explanation of how net-zero carbon strategies and infrastructure for climate resilience can be developed by involving all stakeholders, from companies and public institutions to the general public.

2022-09-30 | Chiara Delmastro, Tanguy De Bienassis, Timothy Goodson, Kevin Lane, Jean-Baptiste Le Marois, Rafael Martinez-Gordon, and Martin Husek

The Tracking Report on Buildings published by the International Energy Agency in September 2022 indicates that the buildings sector is "not on track"

In 2021 the operation of buildings accounted for 30% of global final energy consumption and 27% of total energy sector emissions (8% being direct emissions in buildings and 19% indirect emissions from the production of electricity and heat used in buildings). Both energy consumption and emissions rebounded to above 2019 values, following the drop in 2020 from Covid-19 restrictions.

Minimum performance standards and building energy codes are increasing in both scope and stringency, and the use of more efficient and renewable energy technology in buildings is accelerating while the power sector continues to decarbonise. Yet, the buildings sector needs more rapid change to get on track with the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario. This next decade is crucial to implement the necessary measures, in particular for all new buildings and 20% of the existing building stock to be zero-carbon-ready as soon as 2030.

Read the report to learn more. 

Urban Land Institute

We’ve reached the point where the real estate industry knows it needs to decarbonize and is ready to act. The climate risks – both physical and transition – are higher than ever. Stakeholder demand from investors and occupants continues to rise. More and more governments are passing regulations around reporting and performance across the globe. No longer is it too expensive for real estate to act on climate change: now, the price of inaction is too high. Real estate cannot afford a portfolio of stranded assets that are unable to meet increasingly high public, private, and consumer expectations for carbon and energy. Climate mitigation is material to real estate operations; real estate has a fiduciary responsibility to decarbonize. State of Green: Greenprint Performance Report, Volume 13 presents the data and analytics behind ULI Greenprint’s decarbonization progress.

In 2021, the collective Greenprint community – covering 74 companies and 15,000 properties in 31 countries – reported:

  • Carbon emissions: 4.4% reduction
  • Energy use: 0.0% reduction
  • Water use: 17.8% reduction
  • Waste diversion: 9.2% reduction

Read the full report to learn more about why and how real estate companies continue to make strides toward decarbonizing the built environment.