New Report Finds - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, GHG Emissions  -  August 9, 2021

New Report Finds Buildings Are Responsible for 39% of Global Emissions

Buildings and buildings construction are responsible for 36% of global energy consumption and 39% of energy-related annual carbon emissions, a new study found.

Global Industry Analysts released a new report, “Net-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) - Global Market Trajectory & Analytics,” detailing the carbon footprint of commercial and residential buildings around the world. The report found that reducing carbon from commercial and residential buildings will be critical in designing climate strategies.

It found that such buildings are responsible for 40% of the U.S.’s total energy consumption and that most of the energy consumption in buildings comes from lighting, cooling and heating. These activities are responsible for 28% of all energy-related carbon emissions annually. 

Air conditioners in the U.S. use about 6% of all electricity produced in the country and are responsible for nearly 117 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. The report explains how this problem is only worsening as cases of extreme heat continue to rise.

Global Industry Analysts also found that buildings’ energy intensity would need to improve by an average of 30% globally by 2030 if the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement are met. Without significant action taken, building-related carbon emissions are projected to double by 2050.

The global market for Net-Zero Energy Buildings that generate their own electricity or are powered by carbon-free energy was measured at $16.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $47.4 billion by 2026. The market for HVAC systems in response to these changing energy needs is expected to grow to $25.2 billion, while lighting accounted for a market size of $1 billion in 2020.

Increased focus on energy-efficient buildings could lead to policy intervention and government attention, which the report claims could increase the participation of different stakeholders and ensure the necessary improvements to building efficiency are prioritized.

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