We are moving towards ‘masked’ environment

We are moving towards ‘masked’ environment

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We are moving towards 'masked' environment -min

We are moving towards 'masked' environment -min
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Apart from eyebrow raising past statistics and present condition, what is even more depressing is the future projections. When other CO2 emissions attributable to buildings are considered such as the emissions from the manufacture and transport of building construction and demolition materials and transportation associated with urban sprawl the result is an even greater impact on the climate. Over the next 10 years, CO2 emissions from buildings are projected to grow faster than any other sector, with emissions from commercial buildings projected to grow the fastest through 2030. India being the fastest growing economy, calamity through CO2 emissions will be one of the highest

One may be surprised to know that the commercial and residential building sector accounts for one of the highest carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the world. In advanced countries, it is the highest while in developing countries it is little less but still above danger level. Most of these emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels to provide heating, cooling and lighting, and to power appliances and electrical equipment. In simple words, by transforming the built environment to be more energy-efficient and climate-friendly, the building sector can play a major role in reducing the threat of climate change.

Apart from eyebrow raising past statistics and present condition, what is even more depressing is the future projections. When other CO2 emissions attributable to buildings are considered such as the emissions from the manufacture and transport of building construction and demolition materials and transportation associated with urban sprawl the result is an even greater impact on the climate. Over the next 10 years, CO2 emissions from buildings are projected to grow faster than any other sector, with emissions from commercial buildings projected to grow the fastest through 2030. India being the fastest growing economy, calamity through CO2 emissions will be one of the highest. 

Buildings usually have a lifespan of 50 years (and now-a-days even less than that due to redevelopment benefits) during which they continually consume energy and produce CO2 emissions. If these buildings are redeveloped with more floor space and obviously with more occupants, CO2 emissions from the redeveloped buildings will be even more! Thus, if we calculate emissions in cities on per square metre basis it will go up in the coming years.  This shows the need for (and that too very urgently) employing energy efficient building techniques at the time of construction and energy efficient products and devices at the operational stage.

Our way of tackling the problem of carbon emissions is by shifting location of the problem elsewhere which need to be changed. Take the case of so called solid waste management. In the name of solid waste management what the local bodies do is collect the garbage from residential and commercial area and dump it on some other area which is called dumping ground. In many cases, dumping grounds are also surrounded by residential areas. Thus, solid waste management is nothing but relocating the waste! Similar thing may be happening in case of electrical vehicles. These electrical vehicles will be charged from the electricity generated by (mostly) thermal power plants which use fossil fuel like oil, gas and coal for generation. In other words, we are indirectly shifting the pollution from cities to power generation localities!

Scientists have predicted that left unchecked, emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases from human activities will raise global temperatures by 2.5║F to 10║F this century. The effects of rise in temperature will be profound, and may be experienced in the form of rising sea levels, more frequent floods and droughts, and increased spread of infectious diseases. To address the threat of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be slowed, stopped, and reversed. Meeting the challenge will require dramatic advances in technologies and a shift in how the world economy generates and uses energy.

Sustainable Growth and Products and Services have become great marketing tools and saleable subjects for seminars and conferences. For many corporates, it has become an easy way to fulfil their CSR objective. But all these exercises unless they become result oriented will not solve any problem and we will see further depletion of natural resources and loud statements/warnings by experts sitting inside air conditioned rooms. 

There is no doubt that the culture of sustainability is inborn and inherent in us. Sustainability is embedded in everyone, everything and everywhere. Only thing we need to do is to trigger that inborn quality into action. Rest everything will follow automatically. That’s not the job of government alone but all need to contribute – environmentalists, academia, media, business enterprises and professionals in every field. Then only this world will become liveable for all, including our future generation.