On both sides of the Atlantic, efforts to decarbonise buildings are being ramped up. In Asia, however, trends are going in the opposite direction with per capita emissions from buildings on the rise.
In the EU, per capita emissions from buildings decreased by 11% from 2014 to 2019, and the bloc last year adopted a Renovation Wave strategy with the goal of at least doubling renovation rates in the next ten years. The aim is to decrease the energy consumption of buildings by 14% and decrease their greenhouse gas emissions by 60% over the next decade.
Energy efficiency is also part of European Covid recovery packages, with a total of $26bn set aside for domestic energy efficiency measures across Germany, France, the UK, Spain and Poland (although experts say much, much more is needed).
In the US, the decarbonisation of the built environment is gaining traction with President Biden’s vision for a clean energy economy. Prior to the election, he committed to retrofit and build millions of new sustainable homes. From his first day in office, he has issued executive orders covering energy efficiency standards and building codes, and committed to deliver a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035.