The Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) is a public-private collaboration that turns global expertise into action to help cities reduce building emissions to meet climate goals.

The Challenge

Building construction and operations account for nearly 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions globally, making them among the largest contributors to climate change. By 2060, population growth and urbanization are set to fuel the doubling of the global building stock – a stock which will only require more cooling in a warming world. Without dramatic energy efficiency improvements and energy decarbonization, projected energy demand from buildings will continue to drive massive absolute increases in carbon emissions.

Buildings are also the biggest, most cost-effective climate mitigation solution available. Every $1 invested in efficiency alone saves $2 in new electricity generation and distribution costs.

Yet despite their extraordinary potential to drive a more sustainable future, 80% of economically viable energy savings in buildings remain untapped. To meet carbon reduction and resilience goals, the world’s building stock must be zero carbon by 2050.

The Opportunity

Since 2015, World Resources Institute’s Buildings Initiative has led the Building Efficiency Accelerator, a global partnership in support of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative to assist national and subnational governments with policy and programming to improve energy efficiency.

The Zero Carbon Building Accelerator is a project implemented by the BEA that builds on these five years and takes lessons, expertise and resources from the BEA to new ambitions, with a broader mandate to support global implementation of urgent climate goals through decarbonizing the world’s buildings by 2050.

How Will WRI Scale Up Impact?

The newest project of the BEA, the Zero Carbon Building Accelerator, is currently engaging in Turkey and Colombia to build national roadmaps for building decarbonization. At the subnational level, the Zero Carbon Building Accelerator and participating ministries will engage at least two jurisdictions in each country to develop and implement action plans aligned with national roadmaps that build on existing city goals and priorities. Through technical assistance, peer learning and capacity building from our local engagement partners and a global network of technical experts, WRI will support at least three additional subnational governments in other countries in developing building sector decarbonization action plans.

Working in consultation with diverse stakeholders, the BEA will provide a global forum to explore common challenges and opportunities related to building decarbonization. For example, informal housing may represent specific challenges for decarbonization and require different pathways than institutional and commercial buildings. Project partners will also work with regional development banks and financial institutions to pursue new business models and financial solutions supporting building decarbonization. Lessons learned in developing roadmaps, action plans, policies and programs at the national and subnational level in Colombia and Turkey will inform scalable, replicable pathways for ambitious climate action in the built environment across the BEA network.