UNECE Conference 2009
Towards an Action Plan for Energy Efficient Housing in the UNECE Region

In the UNECE region, covering 56 states in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and North America, buildings are responsible for over a third of total final energy consumption; by and large, this energy goes to the residential sector (20-30% of total final energy consumption on average). Demographic, economic and cultural changes will only increase the pressure of housing on energy consumption and will be accompanied by even higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, evidence suggests that it is the buildings sector and, particularly, the residential sector that could generate some of the greatest energy savings.

Energy saving in the field of housing, however, not only depend on suitable construction and refurbishment technologies, but also to a large extent on the effective cooperation of important players, strong financing instruments and further "soft" factors.

In order to exchange existing know-how and experiences in these fields and to make them available across Europe, the Committee on Housing and Land Management of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) set up a task force on "Energy Efficiency in Housing". In a one-year dialogue process this expert group developed a comprehensive action plan for the UNECE members.

The results of this process and the draft action plan were presented and discussed at an International Forum in Vienna in November 2009. Almost 300 experts from 35 countries took part in the event. Their input is now taken into account in the revision of the action plan that shall be approved by UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management later in 2010.

The programme of the Forum, portraits of the speakers, all presentations and further material and links on the theme of energy efficiency in housing are documented on the internet website www.energy-housing.net. The presentations are available there as free downloads.