CO2 emissions from building sector highest in 2019: UNEP

Source: DownToEarth

News: United Nations Environment Programme(UNEP) has released a report titled Global Status Report for Building and Construction,2020. 


  • The report has been prepared by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction(GlobalABC), the Secretariat of which is hosted by the UNEP. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • CO2 Emissions from the Building Sector: The building sector emitted more than a third of global energy-related carbon dioxide(CO2) in 2019. 
  • The CO2 emissions increased due to a high proportion of fossil fuels used for power generation, combined with higher activity levels in regions where electricity remains carbon-intensive. 
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Construction: The construction activities dropped by 20-30% in 2020 compared to 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and 10% of overall jobs lost or at risk in the building construction sector. 


  • Buildings and construction sector needs to urgently implement a triple strategy of a) aggressively reducing energy demand in the built environment b) decarbonisation of the power sector and c) implement materials strategies that reduce lifecycle carbon emission 
  • Governments must prioritize low-carbon buildings in pandemic stimulus packages. It should launch programmes that can create jobs, boost economic activity and activate local value chains in the construction sector. 
  • Investors should reevaluate all real estate investment through an energy-efficiency and carbon reduction lens. 

Additional Facts: 

  • GlobalABC: It is the leading global platform for governments, private sector, civil society and intergovernmental organizations to increase action towards a zero-emission, efficient and resilient buildings and construction sector. GlobalABC was a key outcome of the 2015 UN climate conference. 
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