• Lead-organizer: UNDP - Energy, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology
  • 09:00 - 10:30
  • Date: 21 Jun 2012
  • Room: P3-F

Energy Efficiency in Buildings: key element of global SD agenda

Organizing partners

1) Energy, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology (lead organizer)
Part of the UNDP ? United Nations Development Program / BDP / Energy & Environment Group

2) IEA ? International Energy Agency
Directorate of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology

3) Possible additional partners (discussion still pending)
European Union, individual countries, NGOs


Buildings belong to the most basic human needs with food, water & clothes. The more an economy develops, the more people spend time within buildings (up to 90% of their time in developed environments).

The building sector has major impacts on the environment. It is the largest energy consumer of all end-use sectors, accounting for a third of total energy demand and for a large portion of GHG emissions in all economies. Additionally, when considering solutions to lower their energy consumption, buildings present the largest potential for GHG reductions.

As they represent the immediate environment to human beings, buildings will also be a key sector for CC adaptation.

Unfortunately, the building sector has not yet received the focus it deserves in CC policies. In developing countries, new constructions will quickly account to high proportion of energy demand. In developed countries, building energy refurbishment needs to be harnessed rapidly and efficiently.

Detailed programme

The International Energy Agency & the United Nations Development Programme are proposing a side event to present their current analysis, findings & recommendations to encourage policy makers to systematically mainstream energy efficiency in building & city planning.

UNDP and IEA collaboration is building up a unique cooperation framework where energy efficiency efforts in both developed and developing countries are considered together. The key objectives are: benchmarking of policies, enforcement of capacities and internationally shared agenda of action.

UNDP is a key implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in the field of Energy Efficiency, since the early 90s. It goes on implementing projects in a number of developing countries, including building energy efficiency codes, appliance energy efficiency and related capacity building.

IEA?s primary focus covers developed (OECD) countries. However, it also has the objective of promoting a Global Energy Dialog involving emerging economies and a growing number of developing countries. IEA developed in the past year a specific agenda on energy efficiency in the buildings sector, with the support of G8 and other partners.

IEA and UNDP decided to join efforts for a more comprehensive and consistent harnessing of energy efficiency policies internationally. They prepare international and regional workshops, dedicated training tools and several publications. Among the latest, the final version of the jointly published ?Policy pathway on Building Energy Codes? will be presented. Other volumes of the ?Policy Pathway? series are planned (e.g. on appliance related policies). Ultimately, an overarching book is under work: ?Roadmap for 2050 for energy efficiency in the buildings sector?, making the case for energy requirement reduction in both developed and developing countries. An outline of this book will be displayed at the side event.

The side event will gather experts and decision makers from the IEA, the UNDP and partners. Straightforward solutions to energy requirement and GHG emissions reduction will be discussed and advocated.

Despite rapid increases in the building sector?s contribution to resource depletion, waste generation and energy consumption, the creation of a built environment (new buildings, housing estates, cities, infrastructures etc.) remains vital to countries? economic development, especially in developing and newly industrializing countries.

This makes not only the building sector but also the whole construction industry a prime candidate for Sustainable Development. Energy efficiency, both in new building design and construction and in existing building retrofit, represents the first lever of action in most of the countries around the world.

Generally, the building stock in the developing world of 2050 is still largely to be constructed and every delay in taking action means the construction of buildings that will in all likelihood not be sustainable from an environmental point of view. Therefore more effective measures and policies are urgently required to lower future negative consequences.

Energy efficiency policies have proven capacity to control the rise in energy demand or even to reduce energy consumption ? at local scale at least ? at low or negative price over the short term. They also often provide multiple side benefits over the long term (climate and economic resilience, health improvement, comfort, employment, etc.).

Expected speakers:
- Mrs Verlee Vandeweerd, head of the Energy and Environment Group, UNDP/BDP
- Mr Bo Diczfalusy, Director of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology, IEA
- Other experts from both organizations and partners (to be defined)

Potential contributions to the outcome of Rio+20 meeting:
- Commitment of common action in the field of buildings energy conservation, GHG emissions and CC adaptation by the IEA, UNDP and partners.
- Roadmap for international efforts on energy efficiency in the building sector
- Call to the international community to contribute to common efforts and coordinated action in this field.
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