World Construction Today – According to a recent UN Environment Programme report, carbon emissions from buildings and construction reached an unfavourable new high in 2021.
Based on the paper, construction activities in most major economies returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, along with a rise in the energy-intensive use of structures as businesses resumed operations. The use of fossil fuel gases in buildings has expanded in many emerging economies as well. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a reduction in construction emissions in 2020.
Building energy demand increased by the most in ten years in 2021. As a result, Emissions of CO2 from building operations increased by around 5% from 2020 and by 2% from the peak in 2019. Buildings accounted for over 37% of worldwide CO2 emissions in 2021 after including emissions from the production of building materials such as concrete, steel, aluminium, glass, and bricks.
According to UN research, some legislative improvements have been made since 2015, and global investments in energy efficiency have increased by around 16%. However, more work is still needed to combat the rise in building square footage.
U.N. officials established targets to cut emissions from the built environment in half by 2030 and for all new construction to operate carbon-free by 2050, despite an increase in building square footage. The goals must be met in order to prevent an increase in global temperatures of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius; if this limit is exceeded, it is predicted that weather catastrophes will become more frequent.
The Science Based Targets initiative, an organisation that developed a template around reduction responsibilities for businesses, including top construction OEMs, contractors, and engineers, has helped more than 3,000 companies around the world set or are in the process of agreeing to reducing emissions.