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It is often said that the building sector represents 40% of global carbon emissions. I realize that the Architect article is only reporting US stats so my questions are; Is this a global trend? and, Is the building sector contribution to global carbon emissions falling or are all sectors reducing? If the later is the case, how are we progressing toward IPCC global emission goals?
It is my understanding that the 40% CO2 contribution from buildings is similar in other industrialized nations, I have seen those numbers also for Germany and the Netherlands for example. The sector remains stubbornly high, in part because the building stock keeps growing. The same is true in transportation. Increased fuel efficiency is eaten up by growing mileage traveled. In that way those two sectors are laggards compared to power and energy production and explain why most countries don't meet their emission targets.
Buildings -31.1%Industry -19.7%Transportation -9.8%
Peter C. Doo FAIA asked "Is this a global trend? and, Is the building sector contribution to global carbon emissions falling or are all sectors reducing? . . . how are we progressing toward IPCC global emission goals?"
This graph from IEA's CO2 Emissions in 2022 illustrates the recent progression. Buildings' emissions have been flat for the last 4 years as noted by Ed Mazria's response to Peter Doo. No good news from the other sectors either. The bottom line, we are not progressing at the pace required to meet IPCC's global goals. UN Secretary-General António Guterrez alarming remarks at COP27 last November express that urgency: "the clock is ticking . . . our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible." The "climate fight will be won or lost in this crucial decade-on our watch." Keep in mind, there are only 6 more years in this decade.
Comparing current emissions to 2005-2007 as commonly done, a period when U.S. emissions were at their highest, may make some feel good, but the last 10 years fail to match the hyperbole, especially factoring that some reductions resulted from the COVID downturn. This is all the more reason to double down on embodied carbon associated with construction, whether by selecting low-embodied carbon materials, or just using less cement-concrete.
Unfortunately your graph still shows little improvements. We need to do better!
At least we stayed at the same level while power, industry and transport have INCREASED.
Society needs to get serious urgently.