3.1 Residential, Commercial, and Institutional Buildings Sector
In the residential, commercial, and institutional building sector energy is
used to heat and cool buildings, provide lighting, and services ranging from
cooking to computers. The emissions from the building sector include those from
the direct use of fossil fuels in buildings and emissions from the fuels used
to provide electricity and heat to buildings.
Buildings are long lasting and community development patterns have even longer
lives. The incremental costs of the best technologies are slight at time of
construction, compared with the cost of replacing energy-wasteful buildings
and equipment. The technologies themselves are varied and powerful. The IPCC
Technical Paper I found an existing technical potential to meet the sector's
global energy needs through 2050 with no increase in energy use from the 1990
Buildings vary greatly in their size, shape, function, equipment, climate,
and ownership, all of which affects the mix of technologies needed to improve
their performance. In some countries, the energy used in housing is "free"
or subsidised to the occupants. When they don't have to pay the full cost of
the energy they use, they have less incentive to use it wisely. Where a large
portion of the occupants would have great difficulty paying the full costs immediately,
there is strong political pressure to continue the subsidies.
In the near term, the most successful technology transfer programmes won't
be driven by their environmentally sound benefits alone, but because they also
meet other human needs and wants. Examples include new energy-efficient buildings
that are more comfortable and have lower energy costs, as well as lower GHG
emissions; and the Kenya cookstove that is cheaper and healthier to use, and
also lowers GHG emissions. The most successful technology programmes focus on
new products and techniques that have multiple benefits.
The most successful mechanisms for technology transfer include government mandated
energy and environmental standards for new buildings and equipment; information,
education and labelling programmes; and government-supported research, development,
and demonstration (RD&D) programmes. Governments also have a key role in
creating a market environment for successful private sector-driven technology
transfer through decisions on full cost pricing, financing, taxes, regulations,
and customs and duties. Local governments can encourage successful community
programmes by proactively identifying community-level needs and by encouraging
and responding to community initiatives.
Transport- related GHG emissions are the second-fastest growing sector emissions
world-wide as shown in Table TS5, but the transport
sector is the least flexible to changes because of its almost dependence on
petroleum-based fuels, current entrenched travel lifestyles, and lack of political
will. Further, transportation is growing in all regions of the world, 3-4% annually
in developed countries and higher in developing countries and air transportation
is growing even more rapidly, about 5% annually world-wide. Controlling the
associated GHG emissions pose serious challenges because a departure from current
lifestyles and use patterns are required in addition to changes in travel movements.
However, a number of efforts such as performance gains, safety and energy intensity
improvements have lead to the development of many technical and non-technical
options that reduce GHG emissions. Most of these options are technically feasible
but not all are economically feasible. The cost-effectiveness of most options
varies among users. Resource availability, technical know-how, institutional
capacity and local market are among the different factors that affect the cost
of these options.
Improvements in vehicle technology such as improved engine design or vehicle
body with the aim of reducing energy intensity can result in reduction of carbon
emissions. Similarly, low cost actions such as proper maintenance and overall
servicing of vehicles will lead to both reduction in fuel use and carbon emissions.
The use of improved gasoline and diesel, and alternative transport fuels such
as compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), methanol and
ethanol can also lead to reductions in GHG emissions. Electric vehicles are
penetrating in niche markets and hydrogen powered vehicles with the potential
of much reduced GHG emissions could be feasible in the future. The energy intensity
of aircrafts can be improved with engine modifications and new designs.
Wider use of public transport such as more comfortable and safer buses and
non-motorised systems such as bicycles, rickshaws, and push-carts are examples
of options with the supporting infrastructure such as dedicated lanes and improved
signalling can result in significant environmental benefits including reduction
of GHG emissions. Changes in transport infrastructure and systems to reduce
travel trips improve modal choices, and increased freight volume per trip can
result in reduction of GHG emissions. Also, the use of some non-transport options
such as improved urban planning, and transport substitution using modern telecommunications
options can lead to reduce trips and thus GHG reductions.
These options could be transferred within and across countries and regions
of the world through different mechanisms. Options such as the manufacture and
improvements of vehicle and aircraft, and developments in fuel technologies
can be transferred through market oriented paths, while those related to transport
infrastructure can be through non-market oriented paths such as bilateral and
multilateral institutions. However, recently, private sector involvement in
the sector is growing resulting in minimising the difference between these paths.
However, there are significant technological, economic and institutional barriers
that can prevent transferring these options within and across countries and
regions. Lack of suitable local firms to supply components and services required
by large firms limit technology transfer within countries. Unavailability of
technical and business information affects penetration within and across countries.
Local firms suffer from limited access to capital, a barrier that also affects
many countries especially those requiring transport infrastructure. A non-supportive
environment for technology transfer for both technology supplier and recipient
negatively affects the transfer of transport technologies and is amongst others
reasons due to the lack of political will to take the necessary actions such
as instituting standards with complimentary compliance regimes.
Various government policies and actions can facilitate the transfer of these
options in addition to overcoming some of these barriers. They can also provide
non-climate related benefits such as reduction in local air pollution and road
congestion. Transfer of technological experiences between countries can stimulate
promotion of low cost options such as proper vehicle and aircraft maintenance;
enforceable regulatory systems for inspection and testing of vehicles and aircrafts;
improved traffic management; and improvements in the quality of drivers. Promotion
of policies aimed at reduction of transport intensities for passenger systems
such new public transport modes, local market re-organisation, comfortable walkways,
wider use of telecommunications, and new freight systems such as dematerialisation,
regionalisation of production networks, and use of new logistics systems can
lead to reductions in GHG emissions. Use of environmentally friendly transport
infrastructure aimed at reduction in travel distance, affecting modal choice,
and use of dedicated lanes are useful, but can be expensive, time-consuming
and may require behavioural and lifestyle changes.
Encouraging co-operative technology programmes between countries and enterprises
can result in the transfer of many of these options. These programmes may include
joint R&D, design and manufacture, and information networks on management
and specific technical skills. Encouraging sub-contracting among firms and enterprises
will promote the transfer of technical and managerial skills. However, governments
of technology recipients need to build further local capacities for information
development and exchange, technology assessment and selection, negotiation abilities,
and support infrastructure, as these will create the enabling environment for
effective technology transfer and development.
The need for commitment from governments is crucial in stimulating technology
transfer, both for technology outflows and technology inflows. Instituting policies
that promote transport technology outflows such as special incentives for ESTs
and build capacities to receive technology inflows through an improved business
environment will be important in increasing the flow of ESTs in the transport