Carbon neutral buildings – waking the sleeping giant

The building sector, and in particular the building stock, is a significant factor when it comes to carbon emissions worldwide. According to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, the sector accounts for 38% of all energy-related CO2 emissions when adding building construction industry emissions.

Direct building CO2 emissions must be cut in half by 2030 in order to reach net zero carbon building stock by 2050. Inefficient buildings waste a lot of energy. Heating and cooling buildings consumes enormous amounts of energy and has low shares of renewable energy. When we discuss the energy transition today, we think primarily of electricity and mobility, but we rarely consider the building sector. A worldwide energy transition without 100% renewable heating and cooling will be impossible. The change has yet to come – how can we achieve this?

Many states have launched ‘green recovery’ plans that factor in the building sector on the path toward reducing emissions following the Covid-19 crisis. The EU CO2 reduction strategy (Renovation Wave) is the first continental decarbonisation programme for the building stock and aims to both improve the energy efficiency of buildings and speed up the integration of renewables. At what pace does this process need to be realised in order to help the sleeping giant quickly get on its feet? What are the implications for policies, industry and workforce? This session will provide an overview of the current global situation in the building sector.

The speakers will speak from the perspective of efficient buildings, on the one hand, and on the other hand from the perspective of the (climate neutral) energy sector.