The built environment – like transport and agriculture – is a significant contributor to energy-use and, more importantly, greenhouse gas emissions. Global warming is happening, and the 2 degree target is both insufficient and increasingly less likely to be achieved without action now.
Carbon emissions need to be significantly reduced because carbon dioxide hangs around in the atmosphere for 100s of year. As wikipedia notes:
“Carbon dioxide has unique long-term effects on climate change that are largely “irreversible” for one thousand years after emissions stop (zero further emissions) even though carbon dioxide tends toward equilibrium with the ocean on a scale of 100 years. The greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide do not persist over time in the same way as carbon dioxide. Even if human carbon dioxide emissions were to completely cease, atmospheric temperatures are not expected to decrease significantly in the short term.”
It is this reason why acting now is important, and meaningful progress is needed in the Paris talks. Thanks to Luke, James, Ariana and Gerald for ensuring the involvement of the architectural community happened.