IEA: The building sector plays vital part for carbon neutrality

International Energy Agency (IEA) underlines the role of the building sector when it comes to achieving the emission reduction targets in the Nordic countries.
Published 25/01/2013 | Last updated 25/01/2013

In Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives, the first ever regional edition of the renowned global publication Energy Technology Perspectives, IEA is listing the best ways for the Nordic region to become carbon-neutral by 2050.


Buildings are responsible for a fifth of the CO2 emissions in the Nordics, and play a vital part if the countries are to reach their goal. Much has already been achieved. Though the energy use per household has increased, the direct emissions of CO2 per capita in the building sector are now close to the world average.


But the task remains monumental going forward: Carbon emissions associated with the building industry need to be reduced from 50 million tons of CO2 in 2010 to less than 5 million in 2050.


A great part of the reduction must come from a cleaner energy supply system, where renewable electricity and heat production are crucial. But a significant part will also have to come from energy efficiency. Strict building codes and high standards for new buildings are already in place in the Nordic region and thus the main barrier to continued improvement in energy efficiency is the slow rate of turnover of the building stock, as well as the difficulty in improving energy efficiency (space heating and cooling) of older buildings. A major challenge in this regard is to make more and better refurbishment profitable.


IEA estimates that an additional USD 124 billion must be invested in end-use technology, primarily building shells and appliances, to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.


Read more and find lots of interesting facts and figures in the Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives report.