Are politicians ignoring the role of buildings in tackling climate change?

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In light of this week's COP21 summit in Paris, the Velux Group has accused politicians of failing to recognise the major role that buildings play in the fight against global climate change, Business Green reports.


Buildings consume vast amounts of energy - particularly those on a large, industrial scale. In Europe alone, they account for 40% of consumed energy; yet despite this, leaders still seem to be ignoring their significance as a crucial weapon for combating climate change.

As the article notes, Europe has failed on numerous occasions to set legally binding targets for energy usage reduction, establishing only voluntary targets to cut energy usage by 20% within the next five years.

But Velux Group's chief executive Jørgen Tang-Jensen is speaking out against this major error, calling on the wider building industry to present a better case for energy efficiency investment.

"We in the building industry are not nearly as good as lobbying as those coming from different kinds of energy companies," he told Business Green. "It seems like most of the focus has been on how to have cleaner energy, renewable energy. But actually the best energy is the energy we don't use."

Energy efficiency has been a key focus of the COP21 climate talks, with businesses across the sector presenting a pledge to negotiators to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 84 gigatonnes by 2050.

Velux Group called on world leaders to ensure that their focus was on the role buildings can play in reducing Co2 emissions. To support this call to action, the Velux Group built 21 homes in 12 countries with different climatic conditions, to demonstrate the range of low emissions and energy saving techniques currently available. The findings, says Tang-Jensen, prove that "the solutions for tomorrow's buildings are already here."

Meanwhile, the UK Green Building Council announced during the series of talks that it has launched a new research project exploring whether banks could offer "green mortgages," rewarding the most energy efficiency homes.green building

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