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APEC seeking to improve energy efficiency of commercial buildings

2017/07/22 20:50

Taipei, July 22 (CNA) The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Working Group said it is working to help member economies optimize local building codes with the aim of making commercial buildings more energy efficient.

In a statement issued Friday, the group said spiking environmental and economic costs of energy inefficient homes and offices, exacerbated by soaring temperatures, are prompting new action in APEC to break ground on the next generation building development.

"We are taking new steps in APEC to help our member economies optimize local building codes needed to phase in more energy efficient projects," said Chern Jyuung-shiauu (陳炯曉), chair of the APEC Energy Working Group, who is also a division chief at Taiwan's Energy Bureau.

"Improving these codes will ultimately reduce energy costs for residents and businesses while tackling emissions to fight climate change," he was quoted as saying in the statement.

Buildings account for about a third of energy use and a fifth of energy-related carbon emissions globally, Chern said.

With 80 per cent of the APEC region's 3 billion people forecast to live and work in cities in the next 30 years, the consequences of inefficient buildings will only escalate, raising energy costs for consumers and tripling building emissions by 2050, he warned.

"The Asia-Pacific is leading the way when it comes to building construction but energy efficiency standards are not keeping pace," Chern said. "Overall, we're most concerned about increasing demand for cooling linked to rising temperatures and rapid development in the region."

Energy consumption in buildings in developed economies is in many cases needlessly inefficient and wasteful due to continued use of outdated technologies and standards, according to APEC energy officials and sustainable building experts from the private sector who met in Singapore earlier this month to lay the groundwork for performance improvements.

Adding to the concerns is the fact that building projects in developing economies are largely following suit, the APEC Energy Working Group said.

Energy officials from APEC member economies will meet in Jakarta in August to take the next step in the effort to enhance commercial building energy performance and will convene in Honolulu in September to discuss nearly zero energy building development, the group said.

(By Romulo Huang)Enditem/pc