Posted on November 03, 2014
The World Resources Institute (WRI), a 2015 Zayed Future Energy Prize finalist, and multinational corporation Johnson Controls this month announced a new “Building Efficiency Initiative.” The initiative is to help advance energy efficiency action in cities.
“The new initiative brings together Johnson Controls’ expertise as a leader in providing building efficiency solutions and WRI’s analytical excellence and on-the-ground experience to create more sustainable and prosperous cities,” a press release from the two stated.
By 2030, ~70% of the world’s population is projected to be living in cities (up from ~54% today). While energy efficiency action on the national and international level may be difficult, cities can make big strides themselves to move their use of energy into a more efficient future.
“With the extraordinary global shift toward an urban environment, success in sustainable development will largely be determined in cities. This new initiative will focus on the opportunities and challenges that rapid urbanization presents, especially in major developing countries,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, president and CEO, WRI. “We are excited to work closely with Johnson Controls and other partners to develop innovative and practical recommendations on building efficiency that support a strong, low-carbon pathway.”
Heating and cooling technologies, building orientation, building design, lighting technology, insulation, types of windows, automation technologies, distributed clean energy resources, and so many other factors can go into the energy efficiency of buildings. But knowing the most efficient options is not always an easy task. Leaders like WRI and Johnson Controls offer a great deal through their expertise in this matter, so it’s good to see them developing this widely useful yet focused initiative.
It’s hard to believe, but only about 40% of the buildings that will be in place in China in 2020 have been built today. In the developing world as a whole, it’s estimated that over 50% of buildings in 2050 aren’t yet built. There’s a great deal of potential to make those buildings energy efficient, and initiatives like this one will help a lot with that.
The press release about the launch of the Building Efficiency Initiative adds:
“The new Building Efficiency Initiative will support the Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform, under the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, which was announced last week at the UN Climate Summit. The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative has a goal of doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement around the world by 2030. The Building Efficiency Initiative will engage partners, policymakers, and supporters to accelerate building efficiency action in cities around the world.
“Jennifer Layke will lead the new Building Efficiency Initiative at WRI, drawing upon her experience directing Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency. Prior to Johnson Controls, Layke served as the deputy director of WRI’s Climate and Energy Program from 2005 to 2009. The new building efficiency initiative will be part of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, which aims to catalyze sustainable urban development and improve the quality of life for people in cities worldwide.”
Image Credit: Aapo Haapanen (CC BY-SA 2.0 license)
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