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2022-09-19 | Kim Cheslak, Sean Denniston, Mark Lyles, Diana Burk, and Ben Rabe
Existing Building Decarbonization Code
New Buildings Institute

The Existing Building Decarbonization Code is a new way for jurisdictions to reduce carbon emissions and meet Climate Action Plan and public health and equity goals. The need to address existing building stock is great, with 5.9 million existing commercial buildings in the U.S. comprising 97 billion square feet. New construction represents less than 2% of building activity in any given year, leaving a vast amount of outdated technologies in current building stock. NBI’s release of the Building Decarbonization Code provided the first off-the-shelf solution--as an overlay to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)--for jurisdictions to transform energy codes into decarbonization codes for new buildings. Expanding where that document left off, the Existing Building Decarbonization Code complements the original adding provisions specifically for existing buildings. The new model language covers both residential and commercial buildings including all-electric and mix-fuel energy use pathways.

Pivot Point Report
Race to Zero

This report is a product of radical collaboration, with 40+ organisations working on accelerating non-state actor climate action in support of the Paris Agreement, coming together to share findings, insights and perspectives. It presents an overview of the current landscape across the voluntary climate leadership initiatives, and emerging standards and regulations, and offers insights on how to dramatically accelerate from voluntary action to the adequate standards, policies and regulations needed to deliver climate action at scale and achieve the mitigation goal of the Paris Agreement - recognising the different circumstances, capacities and needs of different countries. It explores some appropriate enabling environments and outlines the wide array of tools available, and highlights key questions to address hereon, providing a thought-piece for dialogue and consideration. Most importantly, it actively calls - indeed urges - non-state actors to (a) join the Race to Zero; (b) dramatically ratchet their policy engagement in line with this report; and (c) urges them to help inform, shape and drive the needed standards, legislation and regulation to get the world back on track to a 1.5C-aligned pathway to achieve a resilient, just net zero world.

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)
Breakthrough Agenda Report 2022
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."

2022-09-12 | Judit Kockat, Sheikh Zuhaib
EU Buildings Climate Tracker: methodology and introduction of building decarbonisation indicators and their results

The EU Buildings Climate Tracker finds that the European Union is facing a growing gap in advancing towards climate neutrality in the sector. This paper is complementary as it gives more details about the methodology and outlines results for all sub-indicators of the Tracker.

A first policy briefing highlighting its overall results as well as concrete policy recommendations for the EPBD revision was published in June 2022. This complimentary paper gives more details about the methodology and outlines results for all sub-indicators of the EU Buildings Climate Tracker: 

  1. CO₂ emissions from energy use in buildings by households and services 
  2. Final energy consumption in households and the service 
  3. Improvement in EPC ratings 
  4. Renewable energy share 
  5. Cumulated investment in renovation in real terms
  6. Annual domestic expenditure per household in real terms 
An Energy Sector Roadmap to Net Zero Emissions in Indonesia

The IEA – at the request of the Government of Indonesia and to coincide with Indonesia’s Presidency of the G20 – has developed a comprehensive roadmap to net zero by 2060 for the country, which charts a path for the country’s energy transition over the coming decades. The analysis in the Energy Sector Roadmap to Net Zero Emissions in Indonesia spans key areas such as people‑centred transitions, the phasing down of coal use, investment and financing needs, and critical minerals. It also sets out a high-ambition pathway in which Indonesia reaches net zero by 2050. The project has been conducted in close collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia.

Technology and innovation pathways for zero-carbon-ready buildings by 2030. A strategic vision from the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes

The new IEA report “Technology and innovation pathways for zero-carbon-ready buildings by 2030. A strategic vision from the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes” gives recommendations for the technology solutions, innovation strategies and policy instruments for the current decade to achieve Zero-Carbon Buildings by 2050. This report combines input from the IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes.

Insights on how circular economy principles can impact carbon and value

The Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap, published in 2021, demonstrates that the UK built environment can be net zero carbon by 2050. The modelling found that for this to happen, both embodied and operational carbon must be reduced to almost zero, and that the use of circular economy principles are an important part of the solution. Five such principles and how to apply them were set out by UKGBC in Circular economy guidance for construction clients, published in 2019.

This UKGBC report seeks to increase understanding within the real estate sector of how circular economy principles can support whole life carbon reductions, and where there may be potential trade-offs; and provide greater clarity on how circular economy may be valued in relation to the whole life carbon impacts of buildings by translating these outcomes into financial and other value metrics.

Off-Site Renewable Energy Buyer's Guide for Real Estate
Urban Land Institute (ULI)

This publication provides an overview of off-site renewable energy options, and step-by-step instructions for real estate professionals to purchase off-site renewable energy for a building or portfolio, with several options for contracting to fit different real estate development strategies, ownership horizons, tenant requirements, and energy, sustainability, and financial goals. This guide is intended for U.S. real estate professionals in procurement, asset management, property management, engineering, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) who have the mandate to execute on the corporate sustainability strategy and energy purchasing.

2022-07-11 | John Michael LaSalle, Valerio Micale, Pedro de Aragão Fernandes, Alke Rabinsa Haesra, Eyerusalem Masale, Paul Rosane, Muhammad Ery Wijaya, Muhammad Zeki and Priscilla Negreiros
Financing Net Zero Carbon Buildings
Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance

"Financing Net Zero Carbon Buildings" is the output of an exercise that aims to build the foundation for future work by the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (the Alliance) through a structured approach to analyze the challenges and priorities relevant to cities in decarbonizing the buildings sector. It is not an exhaustive study of zero carbon buildings, but rather a guide for future alliance work and exercise to build in-house knowledge.

Read the paper here.

National Roadmap for Net-Zero Carbon Buildings in Colombia
Colombia GBC, WRI, UNEP, GEF

The National Roadmap for Net-Zero Carbon Buildings in Colombia establishes short, medium and long-term actions for the entire construction sector chain: urban planning, materials, transportation and distribution, design, labeling, certification, water and energy use, and waste management. It is a document that becomes a reference framework with goals and actions to be implemented in this sector to contribute to carbon neutrality, an aspiration set for the year 2050 by the National Government through the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.

This roadmap was financed with a budget from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in alliance with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), under the leadership of the Sustainable Construction Council and the Minambiente, with the participation of the advisory committee of the Minvivienda, the National Planning Department (DNP), Minenergía, Camacol and the Planning Secretariats of Cali and Bogota.

Discover the roadmap here.

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