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Zero Carbon Buildings for All, a multi-partner global initiative endorsed by the UN Secretary General, was featured at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit. Zero Carbon Buildings for All aims to leverage the leadership of government, industry and civil society to both secure commitments to ambitious targets (national policy roadmaps to decarbonize new buildings by 2030 and existing buildings by 2050) and mobilize significant funding (at least $1 trillion in Paris Agreement-compliant buildings investment in developing countries by 2030).

“We will not solve the climate crisis if we do not tackle the building sector,” said Christiana Hageneder, from the Program for Energy Efficient Buildings (PEEB). “Energy-efficient buildings are gaining ground worldwide—now we need to get to scale. The leadership of the nations committing to Zero Carbon Buildings for All will help us do that.”

Financial institution supporters include African Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Denmark), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, and others.

Private sector supporters include building design firms like Gensler and BuroHappold, and building technologies firms like ROCKWOOL Group and Saint-Gobain, among others.

Civil society partners include the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, Global Environment Facility, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Program for Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Urban Land Institute, World Economic Forum, World Green Building Council, World Resources Institute.

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On September 26th, 2019, more than 100 representatives of academia, national and sub-national governments, associations, international cooperation agencies and private sector companies gathered to kick-start the Mexican Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC_Mx).

The Alliance works in five priority areas to move towards efficient, resilient and low-carbon buildings: education and awareness-raising, public policies, market transformation, financing and, measurement and collection of data and information.

The Alliance is a space to jointly facilitate the design and implementation of actions for a national agenda for sustainable, low-carbon, safe and resilient building sector. The Alliance's Statement underscores that although Mexico has made significant progress on the field of sustainability in the built environment, the country needs to work in a coordinated manner to achieve its objectives of social development and poverty alleviation, sustainable development and climate change.

 

The workshop of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction Mexico, was fostered by the Alliance for Energy Efficiency (ALENER) with support from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (PEEB) and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The work of the Alliance is aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and Mexico’s NDCs for the construction and buildings sector, and promotes the Regional Roadmap for Buildings and Construction for Latin America of the GlobalABC.

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More than 50 % of the world’s new buildings are constructed in Asia every year, and the building sector accounts for approximately 25 % of Asia’s overall energy consumption. In the Asia-Pacific region, energy consumption in buildings will continue to grow rapidly as a result of new construction spurred by high economic growth and the increasing demand for cooling in tropical climate regions (GABC. Global Status Reports 2017 and 2018).

On 5 September in Bangkok, over 40 participants from 15 countries in the region discussed during the GlobalABC Regional Roundtable for Asia Pacific solutions for the building and construction sector to match the climate related objectives set out in the Paris Agreement. This Roundtable was organized by the Global Alliance for Building and Construction (GlobalABC) in partnership with the French Agency for Environment and Energy management (ADEME), the Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (PEEB) and the United Nations Economic and Social Comission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP). 

During the Roundtable, the International Energy Agency (IEA) introduced the status and methodology of the “Asia Roadmap for Buildings and Construction 2020-2050” which the IEA is currently elaborating within the framework of the GlobalABC. The Asia Buildings Roadmap outlined the eight categories derived from the GlobalABC Global Roadmap:

1.       Urban planning

2.       New buildings

3.       Building retrofits

4.       Building operations

5.       Systems

6.       Materials

7.       Resilience

8.       Clean energy

Each category includes key actions, policies and technologies needed to transform the buildings and construction sector and will eventually include achievable and aspirational targets for 2030, 2040, and 2050. The participants were invited to provide input and discussed in three groups the proposed key actions, policies, and technologies. 

Their key findings include:

  • More ambitious codes and policies are needed,

  • Finding ways back to traditional design and architecture could be helpful (e.g. in Mongolia a locally adapted building technique adapted to the country’s extreme climates was recently re-discovered),

  • Well-adapted buildings also need to be linked to municipal planning, and capacity building is especially important at the local/municipal level,

  • A stronger reflection of resilience in building codes is needed; also dedicated policies on locally adapted construction methods, dedicated governance and coordination on resilience policies, putting crises plans in place for resilience,

  • In addition to policies, developing and working with new business models is important,

  • Integrated spatial planning needs linking to net zero building codes, green certification at neighbourhood levels and district energy approaches considering buildings at city scale/in their environment instead of as individual entities,

  • Vertical integration across governmental restriction and linking zoning to national development planning while at the same time working towards decentralization at local and municipal level

These key findings will be included into the next iteration of the Asia Buildings Roadmap which will be communicated back to participants for feedback. The Roundtable also provided a unique opportunity for facilitating good practice peer-to-peer exchange and fostered matchmaking between GlobalABC members who continue cooperating in selected areas to accelerate zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector.

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A young and growing population in Vietnam means there is a huge demand for new housing. Especially young urban families with one or two children are in critical need for affordable housing. Just until 2025, more than 100,000 apartments are needed.

Following the success of previous programmes, the Vietnamese Ministry of Construction (MOC) is preparing a new National Housing Programme for low-income households. For this new programme, the Ministry wants the housing solutions to be highly energy efficient. This will save greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets, while reducing energy bills for its inhabitants.

The concept for the new Housing Programme aims to stimulate both, supply and demand:

  • Green loans to mid-income households with a duration of about 15 years (market demand)
  • Green credits to energy efficient housing investors within a term of 3-5 years (market supply).

PEEB supports the development of the new Housing programme: the French Development Agency AFD analyses appropriate financing schemes, and the German Technical Cooperation GIZ conducts a Technical Feasibility Study. The French Environment and Energy Management Agency ADEME contributes its experience working with housing developers in Vietnam on well-adapted bioclimatic design solutions.

In June 2019, the AFD energy task team leader, Mr. Fabrice Juquois, visited the Ministry of Construction in Hanoi and the President of the Vietnam Real Estate Association (VNREA), Mr. Nguyen Tran Nam.

There are signs that public financing to the real estate market will be tightened, moreover, the real estate market is showing positive signs towards green buildings. Nguyen Tran Nam, president of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, pointed to the great potential for green buildings. In addition, green building opportunities do not solely depend on businesses, but also on buyers’ awareness and decisions.

Therefore, PEEB´s technical assistance to the Ministry of Construction to review the legal framework and the development of green building opportunities with additional funding comes just at the right time. 

(published 28.03.2019)

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Building codes are nothing without the people working to enforce them. Many countries have adopted ambitious and comprehensive requirements for energy-efficient buildings. The challenge now is to get public and private developers to respect these standards.

Morocco is such a country. The comprehensive Building Energy Efficiency Code (known as RTCM) entered into force in 2015. Nevertheless, getting compliance and enforcement on a large scale is still a challenge, as many project developers are not familiar with the new regulations.

Agents of the Moroccan Ministry of National Territory Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and City Policy are essential actors to ensure the mandatory national regulations are respected. At the regional level for example, housing and city policy departments of the Ministry are responsible for the compliance of social housing buildings with national standards. Building constructors must respect these standards to receive compliance certificates. Only then can they benefit from tax exemptions that are provided by the state to encourage investments in social housing. An excellent grasp of the legislative, institutional, and regulatory framework of energy efficiency in buildings in Morocco is essential for this task.

 

Two trainings were organised by the Ministry and PEEB in March 2019 to support technical staff working in the central and regional departments of Housing and City Policy. The trainings provided knowledge about the standards and actors in the field, as well as practical examples. Public and private real estate developers presented how they comply with the requirements of the RTCM to prove that the RTCM can be applied.

As a result, staff feel confident to integrate energy efficiency measures in buildings. This is particularly relevant in the context of Morocco’s national administrations exemplarity program which encourages public administrations to be a role model in implementing the national sustainable development strategy.

(published 28.03.2019)

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Mexico is a pioneer in climate change policies and has ambitious targets for mitigation in the building sector. With its NDC, the country aims to unconditionally reduce the GHG emissions of the Residential and Commercial Sectors in 2030 by 18%. That is a reduction of 5 MtCO2e in relation to the trend scenario.

source: INECC 2018

Hospitals and hotels everywhere are large consumers of energy. In Mexico, hospitals consume about 220 and 350 kWh/m2 per year, that is about two times of the energy consumption of residential buildings, and hotels consume around 120-200 kWh/m2 annually. Mexico’s boom presents both an opportunity and a challenge: For the period 2005- 2030 the Mexican government projects the construction of 100 Mio m2 of educational buildings, 40 Mio m2 of hotels, 30 Mio m2 of commercial buildings and about 10 Mio m2 of new hospitals.

PEEB invited private developers and builders to discuss how energy efficiency can be integrated in large-scale projects for hotels, hospitals and commercial buildings. The private sector participants showed a strong interest in taking action. However, participants saw a huge need for advice on how to design energy efficient building projects and financing schemes with more attractive conditions to include these additional measures.

Discussions with the Mexican development bank Bancomext, Carbon Trust and CI Banco pointed the following tasks to make large-scale financing for EE in buildings more attractive:

• Developing new EE credit products
• Incorporating potential energy and operation cost savings into the financial analysis
• Developing Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) with state governments
• Providing international support for energy diagnostics as developers do lack knowledge and resources to conduct them as part of their feasibility studies
• Grouping various projects to make them attractive for national or international financing
• Developing green bonds (> 50 Mio US$)

PEEB is currently in discussions with the Foundation HELVEX, the Initiative Innovation Mexico and the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) to identify suitable hotel and hospital projects for PEEB support. 

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At a Welcome Ceremony for new countries on December 11th, 2018 in the French Pavilion at COP24, Ms Brune Poirson, French State Secretary to the Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition and Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter German State Secretary to the Federal Ministry of Environment, Natural Conservation and Nuclear Safety welcomed testimonials on the importance of energy efficiency in buildings from existing members of the GlobalABC, an initiative launched at COP21 as part of the Lima Paris Action Agenda, and the PEEB, a global joint French-German initiative to promote energy efficiency in buildings, on a large scale.


Both GlobalABC and PEEB partners recognize that progress towards a zero-emission, efficient and resilient buildings and construction sector is essential to achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the targets of the New Urban Agenda as set by the United Nations. Progress towards sustainable buildings and construction is made, but improvements are still not keeping up with the increases in floor space. To be on track to meet global climate ambitions set forth in the Paris Agreement, energy intensity per square meter of the global buildings sector needs to improve on average by 30% by 2030 (compared to 2015).


The GlobalABC aims to mobilise all stakeholders, including member states and non-state actors from the Buildings and Construction sector to scale up climate actions in the sector. The PEEB was initiated jointly by France and Germany and is catalysed by the GlobalABC. The PEEB promotes innovative solutions, supports countries’ public policy-making, builds the required capacities, and assists the development and delivery of policy measures and investments in energy-efficient buildings. PEEB also supports its partners to mobilise additional financial resources for relevant investment projects.

The following partners signed a letter of interest to cooperate with PEEB:

The Ministry for Environment and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Ivory Coast represented by His Excellency Professor Joseph séka SEKA, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development who emphasized how the PEEB and GlobalABC memberships might allow Côte d’Ivoire to achieve two of the main objectives of its Nationally Determined Contributions:

  • The development of national regulation pertaining to the energy efficiency of buildings
  • The training of all actors of the building value chain on the construction of low energy buildings.


The Ministry of Energy responsible for natural resources of the Republic of Djibouti, represented at the event by Mr. Dini Omar, General Secretary of the Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment underlined the relevance of partnering with GlobalABC and PEEB to lower the energy bill both for households and private companies.
Nigeria, which is a country with a rapidly growing building sector, through the Ministry for Power, Works and Housing, expressed its interest through a letter to partner with PEEB. The Federal Republic of Nigeria considers energy efficiency as a key factor for ensuring the sustainable, affordable and reliable development of the energy sector.

 

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100 participants, 12 countries, 2 days, 1 question: How do Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Turkey translate their ambitious climate goals into concrete action in the buildings and construction sector?

The Global Alliance for Building and Construction (GlobalABC) and the Moroccan Ministry of National Spatial Planning, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy, supported by the Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (PEEB), organised this regional Round Table in Rabat, Morocco, on 22-23 October 2018.

It provided a platform to share strategies for:

  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) targets for the building sector and NDC implementation;
  • Resilience and Adaptation in the building sector;
  • Measurement, Reporting and Verification for mitigation actions in the building sector;
  • Financing needs and availabilities for energy efficiency measures in buildings that meet and exceed building code regulations.

Energy efficiency in buildings and construction is a hot topic for the countries of the region. There is an urgent need for action to mitigate emissions, but also for adaptation to a changing climate. According to GlobalABC's 2017 Global Assessment of the buildings and construction sector, the sector accounts for nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions. In the North African and Mediterranean region, the residential sector represents between 30% and 40% of the total energy efficiency potential, and no less than 50 million new residential buildings are to be built in the region by 2040.

The workshops identified two major short-term goals: the development and implementation of energy-efficient urban development strategies and the widespread integration of energy efficiency measures in new buildings. In the medium term, existing buildings should be targeted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate-related risks. Furthermore, the energy requirements of household appliances must be reduced and a general decarbonisation of energy supply must be pursued.


The Round Table in Morocco took place as part of the regional adaptation of the Global Roadmap for an energy-efficient, climate-resistant and low-CO2 building sector.

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