A silent offender flying under the radar
The construction sector is responsible for approximately 40% of global CO2 emissions. Without mitigation and adaptation efforts, the emissions from construction will rise by 13% by 2035 globally.1 While it is heartening to see more and more countries include building commitments in their NDCs, the attention is disproportionate to the impact on pollution caused by the sector. It will be interesting to note the outcomes of the first ever Global Stocktake at COP this year to assess the progress achieved since the Paris Agreement.
One of the primary reasons the built sector has escaped the spotlight is the perceived complexity in building decarbonization. Part of this complexity comes from the fact that mandatory thermal comfort or passive resilience provision are rare in energy codes. There are not enough jurisdictions that have piloted resilient building codes. Assessing the impact of resilience measures is perceived as time consuming and data not readily available.2
Our work in India and Indonesia has shown that we can demystify this complexity – by taking a bottom-up approach. Decarbonizing buildings might seem complex, but when you work with local experts who understand the local conditions, you can find solutions that use local resources, work well and are implementable for the conditions.