2022-09-20 | Federico Bellone (CCT), Jose Bermudez Menendez (IEA), Herib Blanco (IRENA), Sophie Boehm (CCT), Emily Cassidy (CCT), Kelly Carlin (CCT), Nicolas Coent (IRENA), Edward Davey (CCT), Gerardo Escamilla (IRENA), Rachel Fakhry (CCT), Angie Farrag-Thibault (CCT)
International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and UN Climate Change High-Level Champions
The Breakthrough Agenda Report 2022 is a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, focused on supporting stronger international collaboration to drive faster reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. Without international cooperation, the crucial global transition to net zero emissions could be delayed by decades. The faster the transition advances, the faster it will deliver clean technologies at lower cost, making them available for all. This is all the more urgent in the context of recent sharp spikes in energy and food prices around the world. This inaugural report assesses progress on reducing emissions in five key sectors – power, hydrogen, road transport, steel and agriculture. The authors make recommendations to strengthen collaboration between governments, business and civil society in areas such as common standards, technology R&D, reaching a level playing field for trade, and improving technical and financial assistance.
"Buildings are the largest emitting sector not currently addressed by the Breakthrough Agenda. While the emissions that occur directly from activity in buildings such as heating, cooling, and cooking account for around 9% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, those that occur indirectly – from the steel, cement, and other materials used in buildings’ construction, and from the generation of the electricity they use – account for an additional 28% of global energy-related CO2 emissions (IEA, 2021d). More than half of the buildings expected to exist by 2050 have not yet been built, meaning that choices made now will have substantial and long-lasting effects on material use and emissions.
There are likely to be significant opportunities for international collaboration in this sector, despite the widely varied needs and opportunities for resilient zero-emission buildings in different regions of the world. These may include collaboration on research and development of zero-emission heating and cooling technologies; sharing learning in the design and construction of high-energy performance buildings with low embodied emissions; and coordination on building codes, standards, and the measurement of life- cycle emissions.
Important collaborative initiatives in the sector include the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, which shares knowledge and policy best practice among its 36-member countries, and the World Green Building Council, which brings business and civil society actors together in a large number of countries. Relevant research and development initiatives include work on affordable heating and cooling of buildings within Mission Innovation, the IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP), and innovation competitions such as the Global Cooling Prize and the Million Cool Roofs Challenge."