The building sector CO₂ emissions in the US have fluctuated since the 1990s but have slightly trended downward as the sector electrifies and uses less oil. In 2017, the sector’s CO₂ emissions accounted for 8% of total US emissions.
Our analysis indicates that direct CO₂ emissions in the building sector would need to decline by 61–73% by 2030 and reach zero by 2034 to 2049. This would be enabled by increased electrification, from about half of the sector’s energy use in 2019 to 70–75% by 2030 and 90–92% by mid-century.
The US does not have a national emissions reduction target or strategy for the building sector; however, several states have adopted policies and several federal programmes exist to improve energy efficiency of buildings. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes provisions for both new buildings and for the retrofit of existing buildings, such as support for states and local governments to implement more stringent energy codes and incentives for improved efficiency and electrification particularly for low- and moderate-income households.