Greenhouse Gas reduction in SA Buildings

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Greenhouse Gas Emission Baselines and Reduction Potentials from Buildings in South Africa was commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme – Sustainable Buildings & Climate Initiative.

The report concludes that the operation of non-residential and residential building sectors account for around 23% of total emissions. Of this, non-residential sector accounts for around 10% of total emissions and the urban and rural high-medium income residential sectors account for around 8%. In addition, it is estimated that the manufacture of building materials accounts for around 5% of total emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the important role of buildings in climate change and stated in its fourth assessment report that the building sector not only have the largest potential for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also that this potential is relatively independent of the cost per ton of CO2-eq achieved.

In support of highlighting the important role of buildings in climate change, UNEP SBCI has begun a series of country specific reports on “Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Potentials from Buildings” of which this South African report has been undertaken in collaboration with the Construction Industry Development Board (cidb).

This report aims to provide:

  • a summary quantification of the influence of buildings on climate change in South Africa;
  • base-line average emissions and relevant performance from selected building types;
  • priorities for policy makers;
  • opportunities for business;
  • priorities for building design and construction;
  • knowledge gaps, needs for research and development;
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