Implementing building codes are an effective policy instrument to reduce buildings energy consumption, but the impact largely depends on construction and demolition cycles. In this research a global building stock model is developed to understand the impact of implementing building codes across regions. Globally, the majority of buildings standing in 2050 will have been built after 2015. Especially in regions outside the OECD the increasing shares of new buildings is striking. In these regions in particular, newly constructed buildings often have a relatively low level of insulation. Combined with the expected rising demand for space cooling, in these regions building codes for new buildings could have a large impact. In Africa and China for example implementing near zero-energy buildings for all new constructed buildings after 2020 would result in saving respectively 73 % and 57% in 2050. The growing demand for air conditioning, is mainly the result of projected economic growth and to a lesser climate change. In OECD countries, on the contrary, renovation policies are more effective in the long term.