Environmental damage caused by the construction and operation of buildings has hit a record high and now accounts for over a THIRD of all CO2 emissions, UN report reveals

FORT SMITH, Ark – The construction and operation of buildings accounted for more than a third of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions last year, a new UN report reveals.

Emissions resulting from keeping global residential and non-residential buildings running, as well as the construction of new buildings, made up 38 per cent of total global energy-related CO2 emissions, it says.

Meanwhile, emissions solely from the operation of buildings hit their highest-ever level in 2019 – just under 10 gigatonnes, or 28 per cent of total global energy-related CO2 emissions.

The report, from the UN’s Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), says there’s an urgent need for CO2 emissions from the building sector to be curbed to keep in line with targets on climate change.

Overall, in 2019, the buildings and construction sector ‘moved away and not towards’ the goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to keep the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C (3.6ºF), compared to pre-industrial levels.

The UN says governments globally should prioritise the construction of low-carbon buildings, once the sector restarts after the slowdown caused by the coronavirus.

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