From: UNEP
Published September 24, 2007 07:39 AM

Regulation key to greener buildings

UNEP releases new assessment and database of policy tools for climate change solutions in the building sector

Prague/Nairobi, 24 September 2007 -Regulation is the most effective means to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions from buildings, a sector which accounts for some 30-40 % of global energy use.


Regulatory and control instruments such as building codes and appliance standards are the most effective way to increase energy efficiency, and so mitigate the industry's impact on global warming.


The key precondition for their success is that sufficient resources and efforts are invested in their implementation and enforcement, as well as a regular updating of the relevant specifications.




The findings are contained in a new study entitled, "Assessment of policy instruments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings," which is being released today at the "Sustainable Buildings 07" conference in Prague, Hungary.


Produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Sustainable Buildings and Construction Initiative (SBCI), the study analysed 20 different types of policy tools in the areas of legislation, information, economic incentives and fiscal measures that were targeting energy efficiency in buildings.


It looked at some 80 case studies from 52 countries and evaluated the different policy tools based on their effectiveness in terms of reduction of CO2 emissions, their cost effectiveness and associated success factors.


"According to the latest assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, around 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 2020 by measures such as improved energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings. Importantly, this could lead to gains in global GDP-not costs," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director



"The new UNEP SBCI study demonstrates the critical roles that governments need to take in establishing, implementing, and enforcing regulatory policies so as to realize these emission reductions and these environmental, social and economics gains," he said


Produced in partnership with the Central European University in Budapest, the new study is supported by a database that showcases the lessons learned from the 80 case studies. Copies can be downloaded from



Note to Editors

The SBCI is an international partnership to "green" the multi-billion dollar building and construction sector. Launched one year ago with UNEP, it now has over thirty members including some of the biggest names in the business such as Lafarge, Skanska and Arcelor. The SBCI secretariat is hosted by the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics in Paris.



For more information please contact Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson on Tel: +254 207 623084; Mobile: +254 733 632 755,, or Robert Bisset, UNEP Spokesperson for Europe on Mobile: 33 6 22725842, E-mail:



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