An equitable energy allowance for all: Pathways for a below 2°C-compliant global buildings sector

Bashar Al Shawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Buildings consume more than 30% of the world’s energy and are responsible for more than 28% of its energy-related carbon emissions. Despite the introduction of numerous energy codes, the sector is not ‘on-track’ to achieve its climate change target. To solve this, the paper asserts, energy codes must be derived from global climate change targets and consider the sector’s expansion. This paper introduces a novel global Building Stock Energy Model (BSEM) that realises that vision. Assuming a globally equitable annual building energy allowance per capita, the model determines, for the first time, the necessary energy efficiency levels for newly constructed and existing residential and non-residential building stocks of 138 countries, such that the sector’s climate change target is met. The results show that, to achieve that target whilst maintaining our ‘lavish’ lifestyle within buildings and continuing the sector’s expansion, extreme improvements in energy efficiency – greater than ever accomplished – are necessary. This has important policy implications in that it highlights the applicability and necessity of the ‘degrowth’ argument to the buildings sector. Moreover, the paper provides a valuable technical pathway around which building energy codes can be designed, where each of the 138 countries contributes its ‘fair’ share towards a below 2
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15377-15398
JournalEnergy Reports
Early online date21 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2022


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