Pic: “Shanghai Low-Carbon City Project” Forum. Credit: Mao Qin
Over two-thirds of China’s existing buildings are energy inefficient and contribute to about one-fourth of the country’s total CO2 emissions. In Changning District, large, non-residential buildings account for over 90% of energy consumption in the building sector. On November 23, 2018, China’s first building energy efficiency benchmarking policy—which NRDC helped develop—was recognized as a critical policy innovation at a forum presenting the “Shanghai Low-Carbon City Project.” Supported by the World Bank, this project aimed to help the city renovate its existing large buildings by piloting green energy schemes in Shanghai’s Changning District. NRDC introduced building energy benchmarking to Changning and supported the policy development through study tours, expert workshops, feasibility studies, stakeholder outreach, and technical consultations. Changning’s new policy is expected to produce enough energy savings to power 300,000 households if implemented across Shanghai. The policy has the potential to greatly accelerate China's efforts in driving down carbon emissions in the building sector.