PRESS: Revolution required to tackle CO2 in buildings

City skyline backlit by red sunset in pollution haze
The construction sector needs radical cross-sector coordination to manage embodied carbon.

Australia’s foremost expert on reducing embedded CO2 in building construction, Dr Caroline Noller, has welcomed a report from the World Green Building Council which calls for a revolution and radical cross-sector coordination in the construction sector to enable a net zero emissions future.

Dr Noller said there was an encouraging increase in awareness within the design, architectural and real estate industries that reducing the embodied carbon and ecological footprint of property assets needed to begin at the first stage of design.

“It’s great, finally, to see consensus that half of all property related emissions by 2030 will be related to building materials production and construction. Having this clarity gives the industry a solid basis to move forward with evidence led embodied carbon reduction targets”.

“In Australia, we estimate that reducing the materials carbon intensity of
buildings by just 25% puts us on the path to achieving our Paris Agreement
Goals and climate responsible development”.

“We agree with the Council’s predications. A world of 10 billion by the middle of the century would see carbon emissions from building development responsible for half of the entire carbon footprint of new construction between now and 2050, threatening to consume a large part of our remaining carbon budget”.

“While it’s very important for designers and builders to reduce CO2 emissions after construction, it is also vitally important to reduce the embedded carbon in the specified materials, before the first hole in the ground is dug. Carbon must be avoided in construction today, rather than being reliant on years to be delivered”.

“This is an invisible issue in the building and home renovation sector,
and one we need to address if we are serious about reducing our carbon
footprint sufficiently to meet our Paris Agreement Goals”, Dr Noller said.

Find the World Green Building Council report here: WGBC Report

For more information, contact: Niree Creed;
Communications; +61418625595