Towards a zero-emission, efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector: Global Status Report 2017

The global buildings sector is growing at unprecedented rates, and it will continue to do so. Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to build 230 billion square metres in new construction – adding the equivalent of Paris to the planet every single week. This rapid growth is not without consequences. While buildings sector energy intensity has improved in recent years, this has not been enough to offset rising energy demand. Buildings-related CO2 emissions have continued to rise by around 1% per year since 2010, and more than four million deaths each year are attributable to illness from household air pollution. Fortunately, many opportunities exist to deploy energy-efficient and low-carbon solutions for buildings and construction. These solutions will necessitate greater effort to implement strategic policies and market incentives that change the pace and scale of actions in the global buildings market. This year’s Global Status Report looks at the state of global buildings and construction since the historic Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of Parties. It considers the numerous commitments and actions by countries, cities, industry and related stakeholders to help put the global buildings and construction sector on a sustainable trajectory. The report makes clear that while global progress is advancing, there is a growing urgency to address energy demand and emissions from buildings and construction. Current policies and investments fall short of what is needed, and what is possible.