Chemistry Plays Central Role to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Improve Energy Efficiency in Buildings, New ICCA Report Says

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ICCA launched a new Building Technology Roadmap during a side event at COP18 global climate negotiations in Doha. The report explores how innovative chemistry enables solutions for energy efficiency and related greenhouse gas reductions in buildings.

ICCA at COP-18

Buildings efficiency is the ideal response to climate change that both private and public sectors can participate.

Products from the global chemical industry play an important role in achieving substantial energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions for the buildings sector, according to a new report issued by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).

According to the ICCA’s Building Technology Roadmap report, chemistry can help the buildings sector address climate mitigation both in terms of cost efficient reductions in energy consumption as well as providing technologies to decarbonise energy production. The roadmap was unveiled as part of a side event on energy efficiency in buildings at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-18).

“Buildings efficiency is the ideal response to climate change that both private and public sectors can participate. It really fits with this year’s COP18 ‘Count Me In’ theme,” said Russel Mills, Global Director, Energy & Climate Change Policy, Dow Chemical Company, and panel participant representing ICCA as Vice Chair of the Energy and Climate Leadership Group.

ICCA Launches Buildings Technology Roadmap
The roadmap focuses on potential energy and GHG savings from five chemically-derived building technologies: insulation, pipe and pipe insulation, air sealing, reflective roof coatings and pigments and windows. ICCA estimates that combining ambitious building efficiency improvements with lower-carbon fuels could lead to a 41% reduction in energy use and a 70% reduction in GHG emissions by 2050.

Building efficiency and climate change
According to the International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 report, the building sector is directly or indirectly responsible for about 32 per cent of global energy consumption and for 26 per cent of global total CO2 emissions. Huge amounts of energy – over 970 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2009 – are required for space heating and space cooling in the global building stock.

The ICCA notes in its roadmap that cumulative net GHG savings in Europe, Japan and the United States from the use of chemically based building products could reach 30 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalents (MtCO2e), an average annual savings of 600 MtCO2e – equivalent to the emissions from the annual electricity use of 75 million homes.

Mills concluded: “Overarching climate goals, such as the reduction of GHG emissions by 50 per cent by 2050, can only be reached with major contributions from all in the building sector.

“Chemistry-based solution help the buildings sector realise the world’s energy reduction goals while contributing crucial co-benefits including increasing local jobs and skills at national level.”

Notes to editor:

1.)    ICCA Building Technology Roadmap available online
The full report of the ICCA Building Technology Roadmap and executive summary are both available at – the ICCA website.

2.) About ICCA
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is the worldwide voice of the chemical industry, a sector with 2011 turnover of nearly €3 trillion (excluding pharmaceuticals). ICCA’s Responsible Care® members account for more than 90 percent of this total. The promotion and coordination of Responsible Care and safe chemicals management through the Global Product Strategy, international climate negotiations, government and business partnerships, regulatory affairs, stakeholder outreach, advocacy and communications are key areas of focus for the Council. For more information, visit the ICCA website at

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James Pieper
ICCA / Cefic
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