HOSTED BY VOLVO CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT
CCC Insights: Low carbon construction vital to meet climate targets
The international scope for mitigating carbon in infrastructure is enormous, says Dr Jannik Giesekem, a climate policy researcher at Leeds University. Speaking at the CCC low carbon infrastructure Seminar in Birmingham, he indicated it could amount to several gigatons of CO2 emissions.
An assessment of the 14 biggest markets, showed there could be more than 4 gigatons of emissions in their infrastructure supply chains.
“At a global scale this is potentially a gigaton solution if you can deliver the best practice across the construction industry in these countries,” he explained.
Low carbon infrastructure projects
The immediate priorities for reducing carbon emissions in the UK are energy and transport which need to be reduced to near zero as quickly as possible. A longer term challenge is reducing capital carbon and in this regard low carbon infrastructure construction can make a substantial contribution.
“The UN Committee on Climate Change thinks that the use of negative emissions technology could take a maximum of 100 megatons of CO2 out of the UK economy. To be a net zero nation we therefore have to reduce the other emissions by 100 megatons which will involve drastic reductions in other areas, particularly construction and also aviation, agriculture etc.
“The UN Committee on Climate Change has recommended that we should be living in a net zero emissions economy shortly by the middle of the century. That means we cannot afford to wait 20 years to start acting on these other areas. We need to be working on those now.
“At the moment we don’t have a picture of how that level of reduction can be achieved but that is because we have not looked at options such as construction…it is up to us to generate those options that help us get down to that 100 megatons target.”
Effective low carbon supply chains
The Low Carbon Route Map for the built environment developed by the Green Construction Board has set out a target trajectory and steps needed to deliver and an 80% reduction in emissions from the built environment. The latest update shows we are behind that target, Giesekam says.
“We have been reducing emissions, particularly operational carbon, but that has been offset by an increase in capital carbon emissions as we have built more coming out of the recession.
“To get back on this trajectory we need to get more of the industry working to reduce carbon together. It is only when we get the supply chain fully aligned and working effectively that we can deliver the scale of reduction required to get back on that target.”
See CCC Insights interview with Jannik Geisekam below.
Circular economy programme needs greater long-term support says report
A new report has called on European Union institutions to promote resource efficiency beyond the completion of the Circular Economy Package. By learning from best practice scenarios, some €324bn could be added to the EU’s economy…
CCC funded research develops open source tool to promote low carbon construction supply chains
The CCC has funded an innovative project, CCIT, to enable construction contractors to manage their supply chains so as to minimise carbon use. The CITT project has brought together Costain, Skanska and the University of Edinburgh Business…
How the new PAS2080 standard is promoting low carbon construction
The London Seminar on 14 November on “Implementing PAS2080: Supply Chain Collaboration to reduce the Carbon Footprint and Cost of major Infrastructure Projects’ brought together leading experts and the supply chains of major infrastructure clients and contractors to…
EEA: industry across Europe responsible for over half of key pollutants in air
Industry across Europe is responsible for more than half of all carbon dioxide, particulate matter and other key pollutants emitted into the air, according to updated industrial pollution country profiles published today by the European Environment…