Research Team led by CEU's Diana Urge-Vorsatz Investigates Global Potential for Energy-Related Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation
In a recent research study by the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN), CEU Professor Diana Urge-Vorsatz analyzed best possible mitigation of building energy-related greenhouse gas emissions both regionally and globally, and as a lead author also suggested policy scenarios for achieving the best-case mitigation targets. “We have to rethink and re-evaluate many things that we have been doing regarding building sector policies,” said Urge-Vorsatz, professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy and director of CEU’s Center for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy (3CSEP).
The study on energy consumption in buildings focused on four regions: America, the European Union, India, and China, and investigated the extent to which the building sector can mitigate climate change.
The paper, that models several scenarios, was released at the May GBPN International Buildings and Climate Change Symposium in Paris. The so-called frozen efficiency scenario illustrates where we would be in the future if present practices in new construction and retrofit practices prevailed. The interim or moderate efficiency scenario details where we would be if present policy intentions were all implemented fully. Finally, the deep scenario indicates where we could try to achieve as much savings as technically and economically feasible to do, making today’s leading state-of-the-art practices the standard for all buildings by 2020.
The research proves that it would be possible, by 2050, to reduce the total energy required for providing thermal comfort in buildings by nearly one-third compared to 2005 levels, despite an increase in total global building floor area of nearly 130 percent. This deep scenario would represent 80% building energy use reduction compared to a frozen energy efficiency scenario. The 2005 global CO2 emissions level could be reduced by 47 percent by 2050.
“The buildings that we build today and in the upcoming years will have impact on emissions for several decades to come,” said Professor Urge-Vorsatz. “We could be 80 percent away from where we could be if simply we set more ambitious levels in energy performance which we know are technically and economically are feasible.”
For further details and video interviews, please visit http://www.globalbuildings.org/global-projects/
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