How is CO2 created?
The burning of fossil fuels to produce the energy needed results in around 21.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. It is estimated that natural processes can only absorb about half of that amount, so there is a net increase of 10.65 billion tones of CO2 per year. CO2 is one of the greenhouse gases that enhance radiative forcing and contribute to global warming. As a result of this, the average surface temperature of the earth is rising slowly but steadily over the last decades.
Impact of global warming
According to World Meteorological Organization (WMO) the global average surface temperature has risen by 0.74 ºC since the beginning of the 20th century, and the temperature has risen by 0.18 ºC over the last 25 years. An increase in the average global temperature of above 2 ºC will result in:
- water shortages
- windstorm damages
- and other negative effects of global warming to an extent never seen before
To stop the temperature rise there is an urgent need to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. Before 2050, the world needs to emit 50-85 % less CO2 just to limit the rise in the average global temperature to 2–2.4 ºC, according to IPPC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
What measures to take?
We need to increase our energy efficiency and optimise energy consumption. The use of renewable energy is a must but this alone is not enough. We must also reduce our energy waste because it is the energy we saved that will be the largest energy source.
A growing number of reports all point to the fact that better energy efficiency in buildings is the way to go. The potential to save energy in buildings is enormous and remains largely untapped..
Read more about energy efficiency in buildings.