This indicator presents past and latest year GHG emissions estimates and projected GHG emissions trends for energy used in the residential and commercial sector in the European Union. Historical data include emissions from the use of fossil fuels in buildings (also called ‘direct emissions’) and emissions from the use of electricity and heat (also called ‘indirect emissions’); the latter come mainly from emissions resulting from the production of the heat and the electricity that is subsequently used in buildings. Emissions from the construction, renovation or demolition of buildings are not covered by this indicator.
Emissions from fossil fuels used in buildings (direct emissions)
This indicator is based on the official GHG inventories submitted by EEA member countries to the EEA, and on the GHG emissions projections submitted by EU Member States under the Governance Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2018/1999).
Greenhouse gas inventories
For the preparation of their national inventories, countries use the methodologies of the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. Residential and tertiary buildings are included (sectors 1A4a and 1A4b of the IPCC classification).
Projected greenhouse gas emissions
For projected GHG emissions, information submitted by EEA member countries under the Governance Regulation is used. The projected GHG emissions referred to in the indicator are those reported under the ‘with existing measures’ (WEM) scenario and the ‘with additional measures’ (WAM) scenario.
The projected GHG emissions data include data for the entire IPCC sector 1.A.4, which includes emissions from buildings (IPCC sectors 1.A.4.a and 1.A.4.b) and from energy use in agriculture and forests (IPCC sector 1.A.4.c).
In Figure 1, to improve comparability with past data, an adjustment factor has been applied to the projections submitted by the countries to exclude IPCC sector 1.A.4.c from the data provided. The correction factor applied is 15.02%, which is the share of sector 1.A.4.c in the total emissions of sector 1.A.4 in 2020.
In Figure 2, to improve comparability with past data, an adjustment has been applied to the projections submitted by the countries to exclude IPCC sector 1.A.4.c from the data provided. The % change from 2020-2030 as reported by Member States in WEM and WAM scenarios has been applied to 2020 GHG emissions from buildings (1.A.4a and b) as reported by Member States in GHG inventories to calculate an adjusted 2030 value; this value is then used to calculate the % change between 2005 and 2030 that is shown on the graph.
Approximated greenhouse gas inventory
This indicator also uses data and estimates from the ‘Approximated GHG inventory’ for the year (X-1). ‘Proxy’ inventories are reported by Member States to the EEA and to the Commission under the Governance Regulation by 31 July of each year, X, and are calculated at an aggregate level on the basis of the national and international information available for the year (X-1).
Proxy estimates are provided by Member States only for the entire IPCC sector 1.A.4, not-sub-sectors. Therefore, the percentage difference in emissions for year (X-1) and (X-2) of the entire 1.A.4 sector is used to estimate the value of emissions for year X for sub-sectors 1.A.4.a and 1.A.4.b from the value of emissions for year (X-1) for these sub-sectors’.
Emissions from electricity use in buildings (indirect emissions)
Indirect emissions from electricity, heat and combined heat and power in residential, commercial and institutional buildings include the emissions from electricity and heat production (IPCC sector 1.A.1.a) that are allocated to buildings (IPCC sectors 1.A.4.a and 1.A.4.b) according to the end-user methodology developed by the EEA. The methodology is based on an EEA report, which is publicly available at:
Methodology for gap filling
No methodology for gap filling has been specified.
Climate change is one of the greatest environmental, social and economic threats facing the world, and the warming of the climate system is unequivocal according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). To prevent the most severe impacts of climate change, countries that have signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have agreed to cooperate with a view to limiting the increase in global average temperature and the resulting climate change by decreasing emissions of GHG.
The buildings sector being one of the massive emitters of GHGs in Europe, the overall EU 2030 target for decreasing GHGemissions (55% below the 1990 level) and the long-term 2050 climate neutrality objective cannot be achieved if emissions from buildings are not addressed quickly and comprehensively. Tackling GHG emissions from buildings is therefore a key priority of EU climate policy. This sector is also a key priority in other regions of the world and therefore at a global level as well.
The indicator is directly responsive to changes in related human activities, such as actions related to energy performance in buildings, energy labelling and the eco-design of products, and actions to decarbonise the electricity and the heating/cooling sectors.
No uncertainties have been specified
National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and to the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism
Approximated estimates for greenhouse gas emissions