The Yoke of Transformation

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The Yoke of Transformation

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Green Builder Media CEO, Sara Gutterman

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 9:00am

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Blog

The United National Environment Programme (UNEP) recently hosted a conference on climate change to determine the biggest carbon offenders and the steps needed to reach net zero emissions on a global scale. The verdict was unambiguous—the urban built environment, responsible for approximately 70% of global energy consumption and carbon emissions, is the main culprit.

Today, over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. It’s predicted that cities will absorb an additional 1.35 billion people by 2030, accounting for nearly all of the projected global growth in that timeframe.

Across the planet, there is approximately 1.6 trillion square feet of built space (75% residential and 25% commercial.) It’s expected that an additional 861 billion square feet of space will be newly constructed or retrofitted by 2030. The bulk of this growth will occur in China (38% of total growth estimates) and U.S. & Canada (15%), so the responsibility sits squarely on these nations’ shoulders to develop environmentally appropriate solutions.

The targets are clear: according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in order to maintain life as we know it, “global CO2 emissions must peak by about 2020, with industry and electric power sector CO2 emissions reaching zero by about 2070, and global GHG emissions reaching zero by the end of the century.”

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Keywords: Environment | Education | Energy | Environment | Green Builder Media | United National Environment Programme | climate change | energy efficiency | global GHG emissions | zero carbon

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Blog