The building and construction sector’s overall energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions have continued to grow for yet another year, up by 1% from 2021, according to the Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR). 

The report findings were published by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC).  

According to the report, the sector’s energy demand and emissions rose despite a 3.5% drop in energy intensity. 

The Buildings-GSR report offers an annual overview of the global progress in the buildings and construction sector. 

It was released during the Buildings and Climate Global Forum in Paris, France, and outlines recommendations to help move to a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings sector by 2050. 

In 2022, the building and construction sector was responsible for 37% of global operational energy and process-related CO₂ emissions, amounting to nearly 10 billion tonnes of CO₂.  

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Additionally, the initial global stocktake report suggests that meeting the Paris Agreement’s objectives demands, rapid and consistent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  

Achieving this entails tripling global renewable energy capacity and doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. 

Despite a modest reduction in energy intensity last year, the sector remains 15% above the target trajectory set for 2030.  

This also includes elevating the pace and effectiveness of retrofitting existing buildings for energy efficiency from 1% to 5-10% annually, among others. 

UNEP and GlobalABC members, as well as partners, are committed to developing a new framework for decarbonising buildings and the entire value chain. 

Additionally, UNEP, as part of the GlobalABC, supports the creation of climate action roadmaps for the sector, with ongoing projects in Ghana, Senegal, Bangladesh, and India.