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New alliance to drive energy efficiency

By Peter Muiruri | December 10th 2015
By Peter Muiruri | December 10th 2015

For the last one week, the world’s attention has been focused on the ongoing United Nations Framework on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) taking place in Paris, France. Everyone is waiting with bated breath for the final deal that will come out of the negotiations.

Day Four of the conference saw participants discuss the future of green buildings in the wake of new energy demands across the world. The Buildings Day saw the birth of yet another coalition of the willing — Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction. It is meant to spearhead the global achievement of zero carbon imprints in new buildings while making current buildings energy-efficient by 2050.

The formation of the alliance has been informed by the fact that half of the world’s energy is used up in buildings. This means that buildings are also the main producers of greenhouse gases.


But the new push for greener buildings will have to overcome one main hurdle for it to achieve its mission. There has been a haphazard approach to the formulation of policies aimed at helping developers design green buildings on a global scale.

“The pledge was a response to the lack of coordinated approach across the built environment sector in the delivery of energy-efficient building,” states Climate Action’s report on the ongoing conference.

A building built with energy efficiency in mind in Nairobi. The new global push will have to achieve a coordinated approach to policy formulation. (PHOTO: FILE / STANDARD)

Among other things, the alliance intends to sensitise corporate organisations, policy-makers and those in the supply chain on the need to set zero energy goals.

Worldwide, tech giant Google has a long-term goal of powering almost all operations with clean energy. Within the private sector, Google is currently the largest purchaser of renewable energy.

The company intends to purchase a further 842 megawatts of energy through global renewable power projects. Recently, Google announced its intention to purchase a 12.5 per cent stake in Vestas, a company that seeks to supply turbines to Lake Turkana’s wind power project. Google’s investment is part of 22 clean energy projects across the world amounting to $2 billion dollars.

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