Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Looks to Building Efficiency to Save Lives
Today, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, announced a new collaboration with the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), as the partnership’s newest deep dive city. The BEA is a public-private initiative that turns global expertise into action to accelerate local government implementation of building efficiency programs and policies.
With support from the BEA, the Ulaanbaatar City Environmental Department, ICLEI East Asia and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Ulaanbaatar has committed to creating an enabling market for energy performance contracting and other finance models for energy efficiency retrofit in residential buildings. The city launched this latest engagement with a kick-off workshop to highlight the city’s commitment to energy efficiency, engage partners who are critical to implementing new programs, and develop a shared vision for future building efficiency policies.
Ulaanbaatar is the world’s coldest capital city due to its altitude and northern climate. But despite an average annual temperature of -1.3°C, the city is Mongolia’s largest, and it’s still growing – quickly. In the last ten years, Ulaanbaatar’s population has almost doubled to 1.4 million people. This shift reflects new urban opportunities as well as a change in lifestyle for many rural communities. Around 68,000 nomadic herders have moved to the city since 2001, marking a significant change in Mongolia’s demographic makeup.
This rapid urbanization is physically straining the city and its resources, resulting in unsustainable energy practices and hazardous air pollution. The World Health Organization estimates air pollution is responsible for 4,000 deaths each year in Ulaanbaatar. As the city’s primary energy source, burning coal accounts for 80 percent of this pollution. And due to its cold climate, the city requires a lot of heat energy.
To combat air quality and make residents healthier and more comfortable, the city is turning to building efficiency. With the support of the Building Efficiency Accelerator, Ulaanbaatar will play a major role in meeting Mongolia’s goal of reducing emissions 15 percent by 2030 and reducing building heat loss 20 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030.
Ulaanbaatar joined the BEA partnership in March 2017, and it is the fifth new city to be selected as a deep dive in the last year.
About the Building Efficiency Accelerator
The Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) is a partnership of businesses, NGOs and multilaterals assisting local governments to take action to improve their buildings. The BEA is coordinated by WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and includes more than three dozen partners, including WorldGBC and industry co-convener Johnson Controls. The BEA is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G).
The BEA, part of the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) campaign, works with subnational governments and global and local private and civil society partners to implement policies and programs to improve buildings. In its first two years, the BEA reached 253 cities with its resources and obtained 47 commitments on building efficiency action from 32 cities in 17 countries. Learn more at buildingefficiencyaccelerator.org.