IUCN - Go green through energy efficient buildings

Go green through energy efficient buildings

08 October 2008 | News story

Buildings are responsible for at least 40 percent of energy use in developing countries. As the construction industry booms, the figure is rising fast. Leading global companies have teamed up to act now because buildings can make a major contribution to tackle climate change and energy use.

According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, buildings are one of the five main users of energy. How much energy do we waste? How do we invest in a low carbon energy future in the developing world? What are the barriers to the adoption of green buildings and standards? What can we do to overcome these barriers?

This high-level discussion on green construction for sustainable living was held at the IUCN World Conservation Congress. It brought together key representatives from the global green building movement to discuss the best way to ensure green building standards are rapidly developed, promoted, accepted and implemented throughout the world.

“People recognize that sustainable buildings are important for environment but underestimate building’s contribution to greenhouse gas levels, primarily because of the lack of awareness and involvement in green building initiatives,” said Ken Yeang, Director of T. R. Hamzah & Yeang Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia). He added that we need to make energy more valued by those involved in the development and use of buildings.

“The need for much-improved energy efficiency presents risks and opportunities for companies in the building industry seeking to enter the market,” said Jonathan Rose, president and founder of Jonathan Rose companies. “The solution lies in creating framework conditions with the right incentives to cause a large scale technological shift towards a lower carbon and more energy-efficient economy.”

The discussion concluded that as construction increases in developing countries and globally, and the threat of climate change continues to grow, it is critical that green building is addressed on the international agenda.

The building sector has considerable potential to influence and implement positive change: to become more efficient in terms of resource use and more profitable.