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UN: Construction Sector Fails to Realize Potential Emissions Cuts

construction.jpgEven though many surveys show that up to 30 percent cut in emissions from residential and commercial buildings can be achieved by 2030 at a net negative cost, the construction sector has not realized these potentials, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.

“The Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism, and the Building and Construction Sector,” a report released by the agency shows that only 10 out of some 4,000 projects in the pipeline of Clean Development Mechanism are designed to curb the use of energy in buildings.

Six years after the start of the CDM the sector remains virtually untapped because nearly half of all building projects were rejected during the registration phase. The report also cites high administrative costs and weak financial incentives as being among the barriers for approval by the CDM.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that building-related emissions could nearly double from almost 9 billion tons in 2004 to nearly 16 billion in 2030, driven largely by construction boom in the next two decades in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

The CDM has been facing criticism recently. The Government Accountability Office recently issued a report concluding that CDM and Europe’s cap-and-trade system are not getting the job done.

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