COP24 - the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - how does it impact us?
WT investigates the implications COP24 has on the North American construction industry
By Nick Conte
How has COP24 impacted the construction industry? What does Globalization, Urbanization and Construction have to do with environmental sustainability?
Greta Thunberg’s powerful words:
The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.
World Green Building Council’s take on our industry as a major contributor to fossil fuel consumption:
The recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report removes all doubt: the building and construction sector must decarbonize by 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Sustainable development as defined by the 1987 Brundtland report:
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations to meet their own needs.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says:
Globally, 28% electricity use is tied with the transportation Sector as the largest contributor of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
Construct Connect says:
Spending in the sustainable construction industry is predicted to rise from $150.6 billion in 2015 to $224.4 billion in 2018 that between 2015 and 2018, green construction will generate $303.4 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), support 3.9 million jobs and provide $268.4 billion in labor earnings.
Green Buildings, Sustainability and Climate Change should no longer be sidelined.
It is up to all of us as industry leaders to compel suppliers, developers and clients to create an infrastructure for developing projects with the environment as a priority, not as an afterthought.
The construction industry has a large role to play in mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. With global population growth on the rise, and an expected population of 9.7 billion people by the year 2050, resources will continue to become scarce. The construction industry has a unique opportunity to not only ensure access to housing, infrastructure and education, but to minimize our land use and maximize our resources by recycling and implementing renewable resources when available. In order to keep pace with global standards, we must adapt and evolve. Despite previously cited recent improvements, our industry still has a long way to go in positively impacting progress towards a more sustainable world.
As a company, we are calling on all construction and building leaders to join us in urging everyone in our community to accelerate their efforts to address their total emissions impact. We believe with mounting global pressures for countries, industries and organizations to transparently report on their greenhouse gas emissions, overall energy consumption, diverted waste to landfill and water consumption, our industry is obligated to take the necessary steps to ensure that we do not disappoint Ms. Thunberg and her call for action.
WT Partnership are committed to steering the industry in the right direction, through telecommuting, mobile offices, giving back, and electing to work on projects which communicate sustainability, such as the UC Merced 2020 Project, UCSC Family Shared Housing Project, the Patriotismo 325, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Agribio Biosciences Project and many more projects. WT Partnership also placed as the Runner Up for the recently awarded Sustainable Transport Award, at the Better Business Awards. To find out more about WT Partnership’s sustainability efforts, click here.
SOURCES & REFERENCES:
- Construct Connect (2016) Green & Sustainable: Building for the Future, Available at: https://www.constructconnect.com/blog/green-construction/green-sustainable-building-future/ (Accessed: 17th December 2018).Environmental Protection Agency (2018) Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Available at: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions(Accessed: 15th December 2018).
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (2018) Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Available at: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions(Accessed: 15th December 2018).
- Our Common Future / Brundtland Report (1987)
- U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) (2018) How much energy is consumed in U.S. residential and commercial buildings?, Available at: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=86&t=1 (Accessed: 16th December 2018).
- ‘World Green Building Council (2018) COP24: Time to address the building and construction sector’s total emissions impact, Available at: https://www.worldgbc.org/news-media/cop24-time-address-building-and-construction-sector%E2%80%99s-total-emissions-impact (Accessed: 15th December 2018).