Energy Efficiency

Highlighting the importance of energy efficiency at COP24

Anthony Abbotts
Anthony Abbotts
December 18, 2018

Renovating buildings is an easy, cost effective way to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Beijing skyline

As temperatures rise and extreme weather patterns become more rampant, prevention of climate change has never been more crucial.

This is where the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) comes in! 

Recently taking place in Katowice, Poland, discussions on a wide range of issues took place for two weeks. However, one thing was clear: we all need to urgently and rapidly expand our efforts in order to meet the global climate goals agreed at COP21 in Paris. These goals involve maintaining this century’s average temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

And it’s true. Did you know that 28 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions come from energy use in buildings? On the flipside, retrofitting existing buildings in Europe with energy saving insulation could save 660 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is twice as much as France emits in a year (1).

“Energy efficiency, whether through renovation or in new buildings, is critical to meeting the goals.”

Anthony Abbotts

ROCKWOOL Group’s Director of Sustainability

After all, buildings offer a much more cost effective pathway to reducing carbon emissions than any other sector. In fact, for the same amount of money, buildings can save 68 percent more emissions than the next most cost effective sector, industry (2).

On top of lower energy consumption and carbon emissions, let us not overlook the other benefits of energy efficient homes — for example, better air quality and heating/cooling costs, which allow us to combat climate change while being more resource efficient. 

There is also a significant positive economic impact in facilitating energy efficiency through building renovation. In fact, modern insulation could save Europe €22 billion in carbon emissions, which is far greater than some other carbon reduction methods (3).

Overall, energy efficient buildings can help propel us towards achieving our ambitious climate goals. But it is with the strength of everyone that we can truly hope to face the challenge of climate change.

The Prime Minister of Fiji, H.E. Frank Bainimarama, revealed that the time for talking and listening — as important as that has been and will continue to be — must now also give way to action.

Indeed, the low carbon transition is already underway. Furthermore, it is important that both countries and businesses continue their progressive leadership of climate policies, in order to set a strong global example to follow.

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Retrofitting existing buildings in Europe with energy saving insulation could save

of carbon dioxide, which is twice as much as France emits in a year.

Buildings can save

more emissions than the next most cost effective sector, industry.

“Together, we must recognize the gravity of the challenge we face – the need to increase our collective Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) fivefold – five times more ambition, five times more action – if we are to achieve the 1.5 degree target,” explained Bainimarama. “Together, we must commit to continue exchanging ideas and best practices to raise our NDCs and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

If you’re wondering what you can do to help, renovating your home with energy efficient building materials is a large step in the right direction.



1. Internal calculation based on following sources: (1) BPIE, “Europe’s buildings under the microscope - A country-by-country review of the energy performance of buildings”; (2) European Commission, Joint Research Centre: EDGAR - Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, "CO2 time series 1990-2015 per region/country “ (2017)
2. IPCC, ”Climate change 2007 – Mitigation of climate change”   
3. Buildings Performance Institute, 2011               

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