Buildings account for around 30 percent of the world’s total energy consumption and a similar percentage of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But most buildings in Asia are surprisingly inefficient at using energy for lighting, heating and cooling. More than half of the world’s new construction is taking place in China and India alone, yet the potential for efficiency gains in the building sector is largely being squandered. Many of the costly and environmentally damaging power plants now being built to fuel Asia’s growth could be avoided with better policies and practices.

The Asia Business Council in late Autumn 2007 released a book on the problems and opportunities in this area. This ground-breaking study, which includes interviews with more than 70 experts, looks at how large energy savings can be achieved in Asia through better building design and operation—and highlights what businesses and governments are doing now as well as what should be done to realize both economic and environmental benefits.

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