Opportunities in S.E. Asia
The Southeast Asian region has a mixture of emerging and developing markets, and a great diversity of building styles and contexts. In general, there is a marked difference between building types, patterns of energy consumption and fuel use between urban and rural areas. However, taken as a group the GHG emissions of the buildings sector of ASEAN Nations (excluding Indonesia) is the 4th highest in the world.
New residential construction is poorly regulated and yet it dominates construction activity and represents the largest potential increase in energy demand (particularly electricity) by 2030. New commercial construction is more comprehensively regulated and there are a variety of voluntary green building rating schemes available, but there is a lack of administrative capacity to implement and enforce code requirements and develop mainstream markets for green buildings. There is also a lack of expertise and competency among government regulators. In rapidly growing economies such as Indonesia residential building energy use has increased by more than 50% over the same period.
Thermal comfort and health in homes in this region is likely to deteriorate due to increasing frequency of longer-lasting and more intense heatwaves and increasing humidity. These conditions increase risks of heat stress and heat-related deaths. For example, heatwaves have been the deadliest natural hazard in Australia, and lead to more deaths in U.S. cities than all other weather events combined. These conditions lead to potentially devastating economic and social impacts that undermine the achievement of climate and other sustainable development goals. S.E. Asian mega-cities like Jakarta are the most vulnerable to both current climate change impacts, and the potential ‘lock-in’ of poor performing buildings as they urbanize. The need for building-sector policy reform could not be more acute.
Policy Plans for Low-carbon Housing
GBPN is implementing a ‘Policy Strategy for Decarbonizing the Buildings Sector in Asia’ which organizes regulatory reform, technical assistance and capacity-building support through a policy cycle of policy planning, adoption, implementation and learning.
By focusing on the developing and implementing residential building energy codes we aim to avoid between 3,907.8 Mt CO2-e and 5,887.0 Mt CO2-e between now and 2050. Incorporating non-code policies such as energy performance certification and investment incentives in our strategy – would boost this to 8,251.9 Mt CO2-e cumulatively over 2021 – 2050).
GBPN aims to achieve this abatement potential to support adoption and implementation of building energy and climate policies in S.E. Asia with a focus on expanding the coverage of residential energy codes in Indonesia, and also developing the capability of policy makers across S.E. Asia to implement them.
S.E. Asian mega-cities like Jakarta are the most vulnerable to both current climate change impacts, and the potential ‘lock-in’ of poor performing buildings as they urbanize. The need for building-sector policy reform could not be more acute.
1. NWS, 2018. 79-year list of severe weather fatalities.
URL. https://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats/resources/79years.pdf in Li, Xian-Xang (2020) ‘Heat-Wave trends in Southeast Asia during 1979-2018: The impact of humidity.’ Science of the Total Environment 721 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137664