The importance of energy efficiency in the buildings sector

7 Mar 2018

The global buildings sector is responsible for 30% of final energy consumption and more than 55% of global electricity demand. Progress towards sustainable buildings is advancing, but improvements are still not keeping up with a growing buildings sector and rising demand for energy services. The buildings and buildings construction sectors combined are responsible for 36% of global final energy consumption and nearly 40% of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions. Energy demand from buildings and buildings construction continues to rise, driven by improved access to energy in developing countries, greater ownership and use of energy-consuming devices, and rapid growth in global buildings floor area, at nearly 3% per year.

This growth overwhelms the improvements in global buildings final energy intensity per unit of floor area, which has only fallen by 1.3% per year. As a result, in recent years:

Global use of energy in buildings has grown by 1% per year

Global use of electricity in buildings has grown by 2.5% per year

Global buildings-related CO2 emissions continue to rise by nearly 1% per year

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