Image credits: Gianpaolo La Paglia
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News Article

REE Challenge Boosts Energy Efficient Buildings in Mexico City

By Kristelle Gutiérrez | Wed, 06/08/2022 - 09:26

In Mexico City, the Center for Sustainable Transportation (WRI) and the Ministry of Environment of Mexico City (SEDEMA) have allied once again to launch the Efficient Buildings Challenge (REE) 2022, enjoying support from the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE), the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and UNAM. During REE’s second year, organizations that participated in 2020 are encouraged to carry on the implementation of the initiatives that they identified in the past, as newcomers are encouraged to bring fresh ideas to develop.

REE is part of the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), integrated into the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) initiative. Accordingly, this challenge seeks to achieve 10 percent energy consumption savings of each registered building within one year. It aims to inspire the implementation of energy efficiency measures, both in the public and in the private sector.

Due to its high level of dependency on continuously stable levels of electricity, residential, commercial and public buildings are among the most energy-consuming environments in the world. According to the report issued by SEDEMA, the International Energy Agency (IEA) accounts for this sector to consume between 30 and 40 percent of the global energy production and is also responsible for emitting between 25 and 35 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (GEI) in the world. In Mexico alone, the real estate sector uses about 17 percent of the total energy and is responsible of 12 percent of the emissions. Michael McNeil, Energy Director, LBNL, expressed that with this initiative, the organizations aim to neutralize any and all greenhouse gas emissions coming from buildings.

The urban focus of energy efficiency was also of vital importance to the configuration of this year’s REE. Luis Gutiérrez, Representative, UNAM’s General Board for Community Services, pointed out that “cities are still a fundamental space to carry out viable solutions to the problematic effects of global warming, [since] 55 percent of the world’s population live in the city.” In Mexico, this figure increases to 79 percent, added Gutiérrez.

The representatives of WRI México commented that the Center’s commitment with REE will be displayed through two main actions: energy conservation codes and the conversion of public and private building. Its general guidelines will work in five coordinated stages. FREE will begin by registering and analyzing the data collected in each building. With this information, the organizations aims to develop solutions aligned with the capacities of each building. Then, the inhabitant community will be called upon to get involved through a campaign to raise awareness on energy efficiency. Following this, the developed measures will be implemented to inspire energy efficiency actions, which will then be analyzed to issue a report to conduct follow-up and feedback.

At the inauguration of REE, Odon de Buen, Director, CONUEE, said that Mexico City’s conditions have inspired the organizing members and others to join the challenge. “For a city like this, energy efficiency in buildings is very important. That is why we will take on the task of calling on the buildings of Mexico City to join this initiative, he said.

Leticia Gutiérrez, Managing Director of Policy Coordination and Environment Culture, SEDEMA, said that within the Ministry, they “have the confidence that the technical background, experience and leadership of the three institutions that make up the Technical Advisory Committee will set a precedent for this challenge involving the private sector,” which, she emphasized, is essential to achieving targets for reducing real estate emissions.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Centro Urbano, Crónica, SEDEMA, WRI.
Photo by:   Gianpaolo La Paglia
Kristelle Gutiérrez Kristelle Gutiérrez Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst