Global report into boosting buildings' energy efficiency also recommends government subsidies and price incentives

Countries across the world need to put in place stronger building regulations and create price incentives for energy-efficient buildings if dangerous climate change is to be avoided, according to a four-year study.

The £15m report from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has come up with six principal recommendations for global action to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings.

It calls for governments to “strengthen building codes and energy labelling” to promote greater transparency and encourage better practice.

The report is the result of a research project on energy efficiency in buildings, which the council claims is the most in-depth ever conducted on the subject.

It recommends the use of subsidies and price signals to incentivise energy-efficient investments and the development of advanced technology to enable energy-saving behaviour.

Björn Stigson, president of the WBCSD, said that without immediate action thousands of new buildings would be constructed without concern for energy efficiency, and millions of existing, inefficient buildings would still be standing in 2050.

“The market alone will not be able to make the necessary changes. Most building owners and occupants don't know enough and don't care enough about energy consumption, and inertia is reinforced by assumptions that costs are too high and savings too low. We are calling for a major, co-ordinated and global effort,” he said.

The WBCSD is a chief executive-led global association of 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development.

The full report can be found online at