In order to keep the global temperature from rising above pre-industrial levels by 2°C, all the world’s buildings must reach net zero carbon by 2050, according to a report by the World Green Building Council.
Keeping the global temperature increase below 2°C would avert the most serious consequences of climate change, scientists believe, and that goal is in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. All new buildings must operate at net zero carbon by 2030, and all existing buildings must be renovated to operate at net zero carbon by 2050, the report says.
The building and construction sector is responsible for around 30% of global energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The WGBC estimates that only 500 net zero commercial buildings and several thousand net zero residential units currently exist in the world.
Thus, there is a need for several billion net zero buildings worldwide, the report says. The report also finds that net zero buildings can create jobs, improve energy security, and lower energy costs.