High emissions throw construction sector off-track for decarbonisation

High emissions throw construction sector off-track for decarbonisation
Credit: Embuild

The boom experienced by the global building and construction sector has pushed its CO2 emissions to 10 gigatonnes, throwing the sector off the track of meeting its decarbonisation pledges by 2050. This was revealed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the 2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction on Wednesday.

"Years of warnings about the impacts of climate change have become a reality," said Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director. "If we do not rapidly cut emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, we will be in deeper trouble."

According to the report, more than 34% of global energy demand in 2021 came from this sector, along with around 37% of energy and process-related CO2 emissions.

Despite a 16% investment boost for energy-efficient new-builds, the industry’s emissions in 2021 were five times higher than in 2020 and 2% higher than during the pre-pandemic peak in 2019.

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About Europe, UNEP noted that the sector accounted for 40% of Europe’s total energy needs, and that 80% of that came from fossil fuels, making the sector an area for "immediate action, investment, and policies to promote short and long-term energy security".

These findings by UNEP come as world leaders, top-level decision makers, delegates and experts get together to discuss the most pressing concerns related to the global climate crisis in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, for COP27.

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