Builders work together to finish a house. The buildings and construction sector account for one-third of global energy consumption and one-third of global emissions. Image: The buildings and construction sector consumes more than a third of global energy used by final consumers, excluding the energy sector itself, according to United Nations climate experts. While the energy intensity of the buildings sector—that is, how much energy is used to generate one dollar of economic output—has risen in recent years , experts are concerned that improvements are not keeping up with the pace of construction and a growing demand for energy services. Buildings-related carbon dioxide emissions have continued to rise by around 1 per cent per year since 2010, and more significantly, over 4 million deaths worldwide each year are attributable to illness from household air pollution caused by burning coal to produce electricity. Furthermore, the International Energy Agency estimates that within the next 40 years, the world will add 230 billion square metres in new construction every week—the equivalent of adding a Paris to the planet. But international agreements such as the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals have helped draw attention to the role the industry has had […]

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