WITH the changing dynamics of climate change, all forms of living in our ecosystem — humans, animals and plants — are at a greater risk of being affected. The increase in carbon emissions is posing threat to the environment, enhancing the risk of food insecurity, rise in sea levels, and depletion of the Ozone layer.
It is perplexing that the biggest contributor to carbon emissions is neither industries nor transportation, but the construction sector. According to a report, the biggest contributor to carbon emissions are buildings at a staggering 44.6 per cent, followed by transportation at 34.3pc and industry at 21.1pc.
Conventional type of construction uses excessive water and electricity consumption and inorganic compounds that contribute to the generation of carbon emissions, whereas green buildings use less energy, water and natural resources and create less waste.
Green buildings incorporate the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in commercial and domestic buildings, making furniture from post-industrial aluminium waste, use of glass for daylight to save electricity and use of solar thermal panels. Such practices not only consume fewer resources, they benefit future generations as well.
According to a report, green buildings in the United States could mitigate carbon emissions up to 840MMT through 2040, which almost accounts
for 40pc of the total carbon emissions released into the environment. To overcome energy crisis and fuel dependency, we need to introduce green buildings swiftly across the country. Recently, several foreign companies have shut down their production plants in Pakistan amid soaring electricity and energy crisis. Making the country’s infrastructure green will attract foreign investors, too. It can create employment opportunities and support the crippling economy.
It is worth noting that the government has introduced green building codes, but no effective progress has been made so far. The green model can be fruitful if it is implemented effectively.
Shahid Ullah Khan Tator
Dera Ismail Khan
Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2023