A source of enormous untapped efficiency potential

The buildings and buildings construction sectors combined are responsible for over one-third 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.

Key findings

Buildings sector energy intensity in selected regions in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2030


The speed of energy intensity reductions in the buildings sector has fallen in recent years

This slowdown is symptomatic of decelerating energy policy progress, demonstrating that the evolution of building energy codes in particular is not keeping up with rapid growth in emerging economies. To get on track with the Sustainable Development Scenario, annual drops in energy intensity per square meter globally need to return quickly to at least 2.5% – the rates of the early 2000s.
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