Sally Davison encourages those in the building services industry to keep their eye on the upcoming Climate Change Conference
The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 11 December, 2015. Here, governments from more than 190 nations will gather to discuss a possible new, legally binding agreement on climate change – and it is an event that everyone involved in the buildings services industry should be keeping a close eye on.
The significance of this occasion should not be overlooked, and whatever the outcome, architects, contractors and installers must continue to promote energy conscious living on a grand scale: in how buildings generate and use energy, and what products they use to distribute it.
It is encouraging to see that the summit itself will feature a dedicated “Buildings Day” on 3 December, devoted entirely to the role the built environment can play in mitigating carbon emissions. Essentially, it will focus on increasing the number of low-carbon buildings developed and how we can improve the rate of “deep retrofitting” in existing energy thirsty buildings.
UK Feeling the Heat
Here in the UK, the renewable drive has become alarmingly stagnant and needs stimulating through greater regulation. As of this month, the UK has fallen out of the top ten in Ernst and Young’s ‘Renewable energy country attractiveness index’ for the first time – a quarterly publication that ranks 40 countries on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities.
It attributes this to a “death by a thousand cuts”, referring to the recent reduction of many government green incentives.
It is why we in the building services industry should be making a greater effort to drive change.
In 2012, carbon emissions from buildings contributed 37% to the country’s total. Now in 2015, it appears we have struggled to make a dent in that figure. Given that it was based upon emissions from existing buildings, retrofitting these establishments with green solutions should be considered a priority. Doing this requires considerable thought, but there are technologies available that can be low-cost, easy to implement and can help make considerable savings over a building’s lifecycle.
The built environment's contribution to climate change is unquestionable, but the simple fact is that building owners, operators and occupants – be it residential, commercial or industrial – are reacting too slowly.
Perhaps it is that they are not being encouraged to, or perhaps it is because they are not aware of the environmental and financial benefits of switching to energy efficient practices and solutions.
At Jaga, the discussion around the reduction of carbon emissions truly resonates. Not only because any pledges or agreements would directly influence our business, but because our business is fundamentally built around the entire concept.
We will be watching the summit with intrigue, but in the meantime we would be delighted to talk to anyone seeking to cut their building’s carbon emissions through energy efficient heating and ventilation solutions.
Sally Davison is marketing and communications manager at Jaga UK
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/ParabolStudio