By Maria Weldali – Jan 07,2020

AMMAN — With the aim to take a lifecycle approach in minimising environmental risks posed by the carbon footprint of energy use by the construction sector, the 2019 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction called for taking appropriate action towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The report, titled “Towards a Zero-emissions, Efficient and Resilient Buildings and Construction Sector” and prepared by the International Energy Agency in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme for the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, indicated that the number of buildings globally is set to double by 2050.

According to the report, which was issued in the middle of December 2019, this makes it “imperative” to speed progress towards reaching SDG 11, which aims at providing adequate, sustainable housing for all.

Globally, the construction sector accounted for 39 per cent of energy and process-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018. The 2019 report aimed at providing key solutions that support low-carbon building construction.

Final energy demand in buildings in 2018 rose 1 per cent from 2017, and 7 per cent from 2010, figures that are in “stark contrast” with the 2019 Emissions Gap Report, which states that “we will have to cut almost 8 per cent of emissions each year from 2020”, the report said.

Additonally, investors play a crucial role in stepping up efforts to achieve energy efficiency, the report said, adding that efforts towards this goal need to be supported by investments in energy efficiency. However, the numbers indicate that investment in the buildings sector energy efficiency flattened in 2018 instead of growing.

Based on specific measures related to the construction sector emissions coverage in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which focus on enhancing construction performing codes and benchmarks, Jordan was among the countries with less than 25 per cent coverage of measures related to the buildings sector, building end uses and technology with respect to 2018 buildings sector CO2 emissions.

According to the report, Jordan is among the countries with mandatory building energy codes for the entire sector, which focus on reducing the amount of energy demand of the construction sector leading to better use of energy and progressive change in legislation that maximise impact.

“The ministry is innovative in establishing new measures and strategies to reduce emissions in on-going projects or buildings, therefore the evaluation mechanism for green building enables us to make sure that we are moving forward in achieving environmental development,” Jamal Qiteshat, an official at the Ministry of Public Works and Housing told The Jordan Times on Monday.

The ministry promotes continued action towards the use of renewable energy, protecting trees in project locations as well as engaging in studies that increase the advantages and combat the negative impacts of the construction sector, Qiteshat added.

Among other things, the report called for switching to renewable sources, improving the designs of buildings, using more efficient equipment and machinery and reducing carbon dependency.