According to the World Resources Institute (WRI) Mexico, by the end of 2023, companies enrolled in the Efficient Buildings Challenge (REE) are expected to mitigate around 825t of CO2 emissions.
In May 2022, Mexico City’s Ministry of the Environment (SEDEMA) implemented the REE with the support of the National Commission for Energy Savings (CONUEE), UNAM and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Since 2015, the program has been globally coordinated by WRI, as part of the Building Efficiency Accelerator Program (BEA) of the United Nations initiative Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).
In Mexico, buildings consume about 18% of the country’s electricity and are responsible for 12% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. REE seeks to promote the implementation of energy efficiency measures in existing buildings, both public and private, in Mexico City. The goal of the program is to reduce by 10% the energy consumption of every registered building in a one-year period.
By the end of 2023, the 20 companies subscribed to the program are expected to mitigate over 825t of CO2, which is equivalent to the emissions generated by 117 cars in a year. Furthermore, as a result of the program, the companies involved will save up to MX$3.1 million (US$180,876.13).
Carina Arvizu, Cities Director for Mexico and Colombia, WRI, pointed out that buildings account for 31% of GHG emissions worldwide. Moreover, she highlighted that cities are responsible for more than 75% of GHG emissions, while the world’s population living in urban areas only continues to grow. In 2050, 89% of the Latin American population is expected to live in cities.
According to Arvizu the benefits of REE include: reducing additional electrical infrastructure investments, improving thermal comfort and air quality in buildings and elevating the quality of life and productivity of people working in these buildings. "I invite all companies and organizations to join this challenge to achieve energy and economic savings as well as GHG emission reductions, thus driving climate action to make cities more efficient and carbon-neutral. This way, people will be healthier and more productive in their jobs," said Arvizu.
Óscar Vázquez, Climate Change and Sustainability Director, SEDEMA, noted that energy is the main source of GHG emissions, with high impacts at regional and national levels. He also said that Mexico has a lot of room for improvement in terms of energy efficiency. “We need to improve the performance of private companies that generate employment. If we want them to be competitive and make the most of the possibilities provided by trade agreements, we must prioritize energy efficiency,” he said.
REE will continue to implement energy efficiency measures in buildings to provide economic, environmental and social benefits to everyone involved. Furthermore, the program will open the invitation to new companies and organizations who wish to join. Participants of the first edition are expected to advance in the implementation of energy saving measures and continue to pursue their goals.