UNECE and partners have started implementation of a multi-year project on “Improving the energy efficiency of the global building supply chain industry and its products to deliver high performance buildings” (full project budget EUR 19.8 million), funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) Germany.
Supporting Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, and emphasizing scalability and replication, the project will focus specifically on improving the effectiveness of the building sector supply chain to improve the complete lifecycle performance of buildings. The project will address the embodied energy and carbon of buildings and ensure that buildings’ operational components are designed and installed to operate optimally. A core element of the project will be to support the seven beneficiary countries to develop their relevant public and private sector capacities to ensure the long-term replication and upscaling of the project activities.
The inception workshop for the preparation phase was held in Yerevan, Armenia on 30 June 2023.
UNECE is the lead agency in this project, implementing it jointly with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offices in the beneficiary countries, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNEP Climate Change Centre (UNEP-CCC), Green Building Alliance (GBA), Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production (EEP), and Passive House Institute (PHI). The workshop was hosted by UNDP Armenia and attended by all implementing partners and representatives of Governments of beneficiary countries, as well as a number of stakeholders in Armenia, including representatives from the Urban Development Committee (UDC), Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, Ministry of Economy, GIZ, World Bank, and Yerevan Municipality, and participants from the private sector and academia.
Mr. Davit Grigoryan, First Deputy Chairman of the Urban Development Committee of the Republic of Armenia emphasized the crucial role of energy efficiency in the building sector in terms of environmental, infrastructure, economic and energy saving aspects and expressed a strong commitment of UDC to build on the continuous cooperation with UNDP Armenia, UNECE, and line ministries to further improve the low-carbon transformation of the building sector supply chain.
Mr. Dario Liguti, Director of the UNECE Sustainable Energy Division, recalled that “buildings consume 40 percent of energy globally, emitting a large amount of CO2 and other GHG emissions. Unfortunately, progress in achieving SDG7 has slowed down and many countries are behind in achieving its targets. This project will help to limit the emissions from building infrastructure as a key emitter sector and support accelerated decarbonization of the region's economy”.
Ms. Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, welcomed the launch of the preparation phase of the project: “Energy efficiency measures are imperative for clean and green economic development and should be implemented in a just and sustainable manner. Our evidence-based research demonstrates that energy efficiency in buildings can reduce energy consumption by up to 60 percent while also bringing a better quality of life to people living in them. Close collaboration with the Government of Armenia, in particular the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, the Urban Development Committee, and the Yerevan Municipality has already delivered good results. There is a large potential for further improvement under this project.”
Dr. Lutz Morgenstern, Head of Division at the Directorate of International Climate Action and Energy Transition, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of Germany, highlighted the objectives, the ambitious targets, and the expected results of the project.
The discussions at the workshop were focused on the national circumstances and current status of energy efficiency measures, assessment of the current needs, and expectations for project outcomes. Specific issues related to project management and governance, roles and responsibilities of the implementing partners and Governments of the beneficiary countries, project communication channels and information sharing, reporting requirements, risk management, and project evaluation were also discussed. Participants agreed on the immediate next steps and follow-up actions in the implementation of the preparation phase of the project.