Climate Change - Not All Bad News

Posted on November 26, 2019

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Following yesterday’s publication of the world meteorological report and the UN environment report on current emission levels in our atmosphere, the news seems bleak indeed.

If current government emission targets are upheld, the changes necessary to reverse the increase of greenhouse gases, attributed to the causes of global warming, appear to be too little too late, given the persistent rise of levels to date.

Water level rises have been in the media for a while now, but the fact that the last time the atmosphere had the levels of CO2 we are heading towards was 3-5million years ago did still surprise. According to Google the earliest fossils of anatomically modern humans date back to 300,000 years ago?

Yet it is not all bad news, as we can all make a difference.  Yes, we have heard that one before too. The required changes in life style are also more and more publicised but maybe it is due to a lack of clarity that many of us remain hesitant or simply inactive.

- "The UK’s built environment makes up 40% of our CO2 emissions of which 50% is heating." 

- "80% of our building stock built now or already existing will still be in use in 2050." 

- "And heating alone makes up 10% of the UK’s carbon footprint." - all quoted from the UK Green Building Council. 

So choices made now have a long-term impact way past the 2030 emission targets that no longer appear to work. As members of the construction industry, we therefore want to be at forefront of educating and supporting anyone who wants to make a difference. A good way of starting this process is by creating a level of awareness on an individual basis. 

So here is our call to action for today - please take a moment to calculate your family's own CO2 footprint. Once you have your own personal facts and figures, the choices of meals you make or the energy supplier you select when the next renewal comes up may be different?

Follow this link for a calculator which we found informative. It has more detail than many though a very tough line on renewable energy providers.

It is estimated that we need to target in the region of 1.5t of CO2/person per year to stop CO2 emissions increase and the UK average is currently 13 tons of CO2/person per year. Whilst 1.5tons of CO2 seams unimaginable, an ambitious first personal target would could be to match the best in Europe, around 6 tons of CO2. Right now, in this country, that means focussing on energy, how it is produced and consumed, in the home and for travel. Doing this will get you close to the best of Europe, from there the impacts on lifestyle become more painful. As architects, we can facilitate the integration of renewable energy and improve the energy efficiency of your home through innovative design, the rest is up to you!

 

 

 

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