As part of the VEF Virtual Series, the February Edition of the Products Track was dedicated to Energy Efficiency Policy and Regulations, guided by the question "What are the most effective energy efficiency policies and how can they be implemented effectively?".
GlobalABC's role in promoting energy efficiency in the buildings and construction sector was particularly highlighted and represented by Martina Otto, Head of UNEP's Cities Unit and Global ABC Secretariat, in the Global Perspectives discussion group.
According to the 2020 Buildings Global Status Report, the buildings and construction sector accounts for 35% of final energy use and 38% of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally. Although 53 countries mentioned building energy efficiency in their NDCs in 2020, the effectiveness and implementation of energy-related policies and regulations remain a major challenge today. Indeed, as stated by Mr. Ashok Sarkar, Senior energy specialist team leader based in the World Bank, the progression of energy-efficiency standards is often hampered by a lack of financial, technological or technical capacity.
To overcome these difficulties, Martina Otto underlined the efforts made by GlobalABC to bring together all the actors involved, including through the Alliance's Global and Regional Roadmaps, which involved 70 stakeholders and provides a framework to help co-create policies to overcome the fragmentation of the buildings and construction sector. The discussion also highlighted the need to innovate on the policies, business and financing models in order to support technological innovations and optimize the effectiveness of energy-efficiency policies.
Martina Otto stated that two key elements must be addressed if the industry and construction sectors are to comply with the Paris Agreement and thus move towards net-zero CO2 emissions:
- Bringing all the stakeholder together in order to develop a common vision and language of energy-efficiency at the global, regional and national scales;
- Adopting a triple and holistic strategy encompassing radical energy efficiency, embodied carbon and the decarbonization of the energy system.
The key points of the discussion were summarised in the plenary session, and are :
- Policies and regulations are not sufficiently implemented and evaluated;
- It is necessary to think beyond technology innovations, which are important but insufficient to address the issue;
- Priority must be given to the multi-stakeholder approach.