24 April 2012. Residential energy consumption per person in the member States of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is three times higher than the rest of the world. In order to identify actions for promoting energy efficiency, UNECE organized a seminar entitled Greening Homes in the UNECE Region: Case Studies, Actions, and Financing, on 4 April 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland. During the event, experts from the UNECE, Building Research Establishment (BRE) Scotland and the Green Building Council Italia exchanged views on cost-efficient and “green” solutions that can make the housing sector more sustainable.
When opening the seminar, Virginia Cram-Martos, Director of the UNECE Trade and Sustainable Land Management Division, stressed that buildings have the greatest potential for greenhouse gas emission reductions. In addition, she pointed out that buildings are long-term investments so the bad and good decisions that go into their design may have to be lived with for anywhere from 30 to over 100 years.
To help governments improve housing energy efficiency, the Action Plan for Energy-efficient Housing in the UNECE region has been prepared, and was presented during the seminar. It outlines key policy areas and actions to develop the administrative, legal and financial capacity for the large-scale implementation of energy efficiency measures. Moreover, these actions should encourage the public and private sector to invest in housing energy efficiency. UNECE is guiding member States in the application of this Action Plan through training workshops and the translation of this Plan into National Action Plans.
With this seminar, UNECE launched a series of events to identify actions for promoting a Green Economy in the region. Through its Green Economy seminars, UNECE will provide a platform for discussion on how to integrate environmental and social considerations within the mainstream of economic decision-making in the run-up to Rio+20, as well as in the period beyond. The next UNECE Green Economy seminar on housing and land management in June will focus on the recovery of real estate markets and a third seminar in September will discuss the role of cities in a Green Economy.
Event webpage: http://www.unece.org/index.php?id=29248.
The publication “Green Homes - Towards Energy-efficient Housing in the UNECE region” can be accessed at: www.unece.org/hlm/publications_recent6.html.