Copenhagen Summit Should Focus on Building Sector

Some say the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Cop15, should concentrate on the building sector, if delegates want to drastically reduce carbon emissions and add jobs.

"The existing real estate sector is typically overlooked at the climate change table," says Leanne Tobias, founder of Malachite, a green real estate consultancy. "That stance neglects the UN's own findings on the best ways to fight global warming."

Tobias cites the UN's own data showing that building upgrades are among the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After reviewing over 80 studies on buildings and energy use, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change determined that energy efficiency measures in buildings could reduce building emissions by 30 percent from the 2020 estimated baseline. This would eliminate approximately 3.2 gigatons of CO2, or a 7 to 10 percent reduction in 2020 estimated total climate emissions.