The Role of the Buildings Sector in Controlling Climate Change

January 8, 2010 - 15:00 - 16:30
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Diana Ürge-Vorsatz
Energy Policy Research Group at CEU

Buildings account for approx. 1/3 of our energy-related CO2 emissions, and are often cited as the sector having the largest mitigation potential among all sectors as well as the most "low-hanging fruits" in greenhouse gas mitigation. At the same time, initiatives in this sector are hampered by probably the strongest barriers and market failures inhibiting the market-based tapping of these high potentials. The talk is based on a presentation given by Diana Ürge-Vorsatz to the delegates of the Copenhagen climate summit in December 2009 and one given to train members of the European Parliament on climate change mitigation opportunities. It will review the costs and significant potentials of greenhouse gas mitigation in buildings, its co-benefits and barriers, as well as policy portfolios available for overcoming the barriers and unlocking the potentials.

Diana Ürge-Vorsatz has been focusing on the promotion of sustainable energy policy for the Central and Eastern European region for almost a decade. She holds an MSc in Physics from Eötvös University of Sciences, Budapest, and a PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of California. She is one of Hungary’s experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has contributed to its Fourth Assessment Report as Coordinating Lead Author of the chapter on climate change mitigation in residential and commercial buildings. Currently she is acting as Convening Lead Analyst on the knowledge module on energy efficiency in buildings of the Global Energy Assessment (GEA). As director of 3CSEP she has been leading numerous research projects in the field of sustainable energy policy and climate change mitigation through energy efficiency on behalf of several international and Hungarian organizations such as UNEP, the European Union, International Energy Agency, Hungarian Ministry of Environment and Water etc.

The talk will be followed by a discussion on the COP15 climate summit in Copenhagen.