Better buildings easier than better cows

5 February 2020 by Jason Quinn

Although we have the Thinkstep report showing that New Zealand’s built environment contributes only 20% of our overall carbon emissions (compared to 40% for the USA and much of Europe) this is still significant. We are unique for a developed country in that we produce a lot of emissions from farming. Designing buildings to be energy efficient and reducing their embodied carbon emissions is a hell of a lot easier than breeding cows that don’t burp methane.

Key messages from the report include:

  1. Big step-up in ambition needed to put buildings and construction on track to meet Paris Agreement Goals
  2. Buildings and construction generate nearly 40% [internationally] of CO2 emissions, yet action continues to lag far behind opportunity.
  3. With a window opening for enhanced Paris agreement plans, the sector will be key to unlocking higher climate action.

Dramatic improvements in the way the world’s buildings are built, designed and operated are urgently needed if the vast, globally significant building and construction sector is to play its part in meeting international goals under the Paris Agreement.”


5 Feb 2020



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