According to the report “Towards a Global Construction Industry with Zero Emissions” prepared by Oxford University, decarbonization of the construction sector is of great importance for combating climate change.
The construction sector is responsible for 39 percent of the world’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and is large enough to consume half of the remaining carbon budget in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. While the technology required to build structures with zero or near zero emissions is available almost everywhere in the world, the cost of these technologies is at the same level as traditional projects.
According to the report, zero-emission buildings significantly reduce cooling and heating bills, saving up to 95 percent in energy demand compared to traditional homes. With zero carbon buildings, which are defined as an important part of the climate-friendly economic recovery after the new type of corona virus (Kovid-19), the construction industry can become a climate neutral sector on its own. But this requires immediate action.
Recalling that countries have agreed to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, Scott Foster, one of the authors of the report, said, “However, we found ourselves on a path between 3 and 5 degrees Celsius. Buildings are at the center of meeting the world’s quality of life goals and addressing climate change. Of all the options we have, the timing, scaling and economic benefits of getting buildings right stand out.” made its assessment.
Radhika Khosla, Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University Smith School of Business and Environment, stated that energy efficiency practices should be used to the maximum in order to achieve zero emission targets in buildings, adding, “Sustainable cooling of buildings is a big challenge. In a warming climate, building energy use will increase, no matter how efficient the cooling is. Increasing needs for well-being, space and comfort, along with increases in greenhouse gas emissions, are also increasing energy demand significantly.” she said.