Building sector ‘must go zero carbon by 2050’

The building sector must operate at ‘net zero carbon’ by 2050 to limit rising global temperatures to 2°C, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. That’s according to a new report from the World Green Building Council, […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The building sector must operate at ‘net zero carbon’ by 2050 to limit rising global temperatures to 2°C, as outlined in the Paris Agreement.

That’s according to a new report from the World Green Building Council, which suggests there are currently only 500 net zero commercial buildings and 2,000 net zero homes around the globe.

This is significantly less than 1% of all buildings worldwide.

As a result, the group says a monumental and coordinated effort by businesses, governments and nongovernmental organisations will be required.

The report defines net zero buildings as highly energy efficient buildings which use renewable sources to generate or supply all of the energy they need.

It suggests less than 1% of existing building stock is currently renovated to become net zero carbon each year.

To achieve the 2050 goal, renovation rates must see an annual increase of 3% starting in 2017 and accelerating from this point onwards.

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “We need nothing short of a dramatic and ambitious transformation from a world of thousands of net zero buildings, to one of billions if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“It is possible to create a world in which every single building produces zero carbon emissions but we must start today.”