Pandemic reduction in CO2 emissions, some progress, but not enough | Reduction in CO2 emissions due to pandemic, some progress, but not enough – Bhaskar

Digital Desk, New Delhi. Carbon dioxide emissions from buildings and construction declined significantly in 2020 due to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the lack of real change in the sector means emissions will continue to rise and contribute to dangerous climate change, as of 2021. The global status report of the building and construction has been called for.

The report, published by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)-hosted Global Alliance for Building and Construction (GlobalABC), found that in 2020, the sector will account for 36 percent of global final energy consumption and 37 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. The share was compared to other end use areas. While emissions levels within the region are 10 percent lower than in 2015, levels not seen since 2007 have been low. This was mainly due to lockdowns, slowing economies, difficulties and declining access to energy for homes and businesses to access and maintain. Efforts to make the region carbon-free played only a minor role.

With massive growth anticipated in the building sector, emissions are bound to rise if no effort is made to decarbonize buildings and improve their energy efficiency. In Asia and Africa, building stocks are expected to double by 2050. Global material use is expected to more than double by 2060, with a third of this increase being attributable to building materials.

UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen said this year showed that climate change is an immediate, direct threat to every community on this planet, and it is only going to intensify. The building and construction sector, as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, must be decarbonised immediately through a triple strategy of reducing energy demand, reducing electricity supply and addressing the carbon footprint of building materials. There is some progress, but not enough, the report says.

GlobalABC’s Global Building Climate Tracker found that there have been some incremental improvements in action to decarbonize and improve the sector’s energy efficiency. In 2015, 90 countries included actions to address building emissions or improve energy efficiency in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. That number has now jumped to 136, though ambitions vary. Overall, however, the report finds that these efforts are inadequate in terms of both speed and scale.



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