On the Road to Climate Protection – the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue

Over 50 international experts and government representatives met recently for the Federal Government’s international energy transition conference, the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD), to discuss  strategies and measures aimed at reducing energy consumption in buildings. One third of energy consumption worldwide is used for buildings and the construction of buildings. That is almost a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases. By 2050 it will be as high as 50 per cent if business as usual continues.

For this reason, as part of the COP 21 climate negotiations in Paris, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GABC) was launched with the purpose of helping the building industry contribute to the 2-degree target set under international climate protection policy. The aim of this alliance is to mobilise public and private stakeholders and facilitate a transition to a low-carbon building sector, in part by  identifying the necessary actions  for the building sector at the global level and developing a global roadmap.

The common vision in the Global Roadmap is envisioned to motivate governments to implement national energy efficiency strategies in the building sector and combine already existing initiatives.

At the BETD, members of the GABC met to plan the next steps and set targets collectively for the roadmap, and to take stock of the GABC’s accomplishments and plan future activities:

  • How can the GABC make a contribution to supporting, in particular, newly industrialised and developing countries in realising their potential for efficiency in the building sector?
  • What policy frameworks and technical measures would be appropriate for each respective country to help them in the attainment of these goals?
  • What key messages and strategies are necessary to bring the roadmap to the fore and raise public awareness?

The discussion about possible public funding models for energy-efficient buildings was especially significant to advancing building sector actions. Best-practice examples of successful funding strategies showed how the building industry will have to change in various member countries in order to exploit the potential for efficiency.

The GABC was initiated in 2015 by France and UN Environment, which hosts the GABC Secretariat. Besides Germany, the members include 23  industrialised, newly industrialised and developing countries, international organisations (UN Environment, UN HABITAT, International Energy Agency, among others), local authorities (e.g. City of Warsaw, Mexico City, Ontario Province, Tokyo Metropolitan Government), NGOs from the building and energy sectors, and also companies, research institutes and development banks.

Photo credit: http://www.colourbox.com. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from dena.

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