- Slides: 39
Climate Change and ii. SBE Plan B Nils Larsson International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment 8 March 2017
Climate change overview
An unavoidable factor: 90% of urban growth is taking place in the developing world and these countries want a western standard of living. Urban populations in Africa and Asia will double in the next 20 years and their populations aspire to western standards of living About 2. 5 B About 1. 1 B UN World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision and World Urbanization Prospects: The 2007 Revision (Hoornweg) 3
The built environment is implicated in many sectors of GHG emissions 4
CO 2 emissions have very long-term effects on global temperature and sea level Source: IPCC AR 5 5
IPCC WG II, AR 5: Summary for Policymakers RCP = Representative Concentration Pathway. RCP 2. 6 assumes a GHG peak of 490 ppm before 2100, then declining; RCP 8. 5 assumes 1370 GHG emissions by 2100, and rising see http: //www. iiasa. ac. at 6
Specific impacts of high temperatures n n Higher temperature increases evaporation rates, which aggravates water shortages; Generally, higher temperatures leads to more use of mechanical cooling which creates more demand for electricity, which in turn creates more GHG emissions. n Heat waves can cause higher death rates, especially in the older population. The estimated extra mortality in eight European countries from the 2003 heat wave was 34, 897 *; n Electricity demand rose significantly because of the intense use of cooling systems, and hydroelectric production was reduced by 19% because of reduced river flow rates, and nuclear production was reduced by 4% because the water temperatures of river cooling water rose above acceptable levels. * J-L. Salagnac, Building Research & Information, July/August 2007 7
IPCC WG II, AR 5: Summary for Policymakers Remember that averages hide extreme highs and lows 8 WG 1 AR 5 Fig. SPM-8
Increased wind speeds will cause high levels of damage to small structures Source: Climate Change Risks to Australia's Coast: A First. Pass National Assessment, Department of Climate 9 Change, Government of Australia, 2009
Some EU countries are performing well; others not
Costs and asset values According to a recent paper in Nature Climate Change, . . . a leading integrated assessment model can be used to estimate the impact of twenty-first-century climate change on the present market value of global financial assets. We find that the expected ‘climate value at risk’ (climate Va. R) of global financial assets today is 1. 8% along a business-as-usual emissions path. Taking a representative estimate of global financial assets, this amounts to US$2. 5 trillion. However, much of the risk is in the tail. For example, the 99 th percentile climate Va. R is 16. 9%, or US$24. 2 trillion. These estimates would constitute a substantial write-down in the fundamental value of financial assets. Limiting warming to no more than 2 °C makes financial sense to risk-neutral investors—and even more so to the risk averse… See 'Climate value at risk' of global financial assets, in Nature Climate Change 6, 676 -679, 04 April 2016 14
The problem Climate change has definitely arrived; Key industry and government leaders have hesitated too long to implement adequate long-term mitigation measures; Measures that have been implemented tend to be of the noregrets and painless variety, but these are not sufficient to make the major and rapid reductions that are needed; If no serious measures are introduced quickly, the probability of serious economic disruption and social unrest is high; In view of these factors, we believe that regionally-sensitive plans for more rapid action are urgently needed, and we present a number of proposals along these lines 15
16 What we must do
What are effective actions in such a context? We must be ready to… n …invest now in order to avoid staggering costs and drops in asset values later; n … relocate large populations and their supporting infrastructure and building stocks; n … be prepared for repair and reconstruction efforts; n … adapt our buildings and infrastructure to cope with new conditions; Most important, we must not let the coming problems divert us from the vital need to reduce GHG emissions much more rapidly than we are currently doing, to prevent the problem from worsening. 17
What are effective actions in such a context? n Even if political realities will limit immediate action, we must develop plans for measures that can rapidly be implemented to rapidly reduce GHG emissions; n They must be actionable in the short term; n They must be effective in a variety of specific regions; n That means that we need a series of mitigation measures that are similar in approach, but differ in implementation; n To achieve this, we need data on the most effective mitigation actions in many different specific regions. 18
19 Plan B: key types of actions to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to minimize risks of exceeding a 2ºC global temperature rise. This section was developed by Nils Larsson of ii. SBE with substantial contributions from Gregor Herda (UN Habitat), Richard Lorch and Fionn Stevenson (UK), Stella Bezerra (Brazil), Teresa Coady, Jean Cinq-Mars, John Crace, Gary Martin and Mark Gorgolewski (Canada), Teresa Parejo. Navajas (Spain), Randa Mahmoud (Egypt), Daniel Charles (France), Ann Edminster (USA), Norman Goijberg (Chile) and Wynn Cam (Singapore)
20 Appropriate scale for interventions The generic measures that follow are generally based on conditions that are related to developed countries with mature economies and technologies. They also describe measures that assume leadership by national and/or large urban governments, but it must be recognized that complementary initiatives may also need to be launched within small urban areas, an approach that has been termed co-producing neighbourhood resilience*. The argument for this approach is partly one of technical effectiveness and a need of popular support for tough measures. It also reflects the need to take into account the very different conditions in small urban areas and a concern that extreme conditions caused by climate change may cause social instability. * See Fionn Stevenson & Doina Petrescu (2016) Co-producing neighbourhood resilience, Building Research & Information, 44: 7
21 Proposals for key contingency plans 1. Educate: Launch public and professional education programs to provide an understanding of regional effects of climate change, and to promote the need for conservation in energy, water and materials, for students, investors, building operators, office tenants and residential owners or tenants. 2. Train: Establish intensive regional training programs for regulators, renovation contractors, simulation specialists and others who are key to the upgrading of performance in new and existing buildings. 3. Explain the measures: Enlist professionals and non-government organizations to help explain the need for this set of key actions to local politicians and business leaders.
22 Proposals for key contingency plans 4. Reduce carbon emissions: Introduce policy measures to radically and rapidly cap and reduce carbon emissions linked to the built environment. Such measures have the added benefit of reducing air pollution. Possible measures include carbon taxes, cap and trade or personal allowances. Examples of successful approaches can be found in Tokyo and British Columbia. The Tokyo Cap-and-Trade Program (TCTP), implemented in 2010, is an important measure to accelerate the building sector’s emission reduction to achieve Tokyo’s greenhouse gas target, 25% reduction by 2020 from a year 2000 baseline level. Data indicate that TCTP has been effective in reducing energy consumption… to meet … emission reduction goals, to introduce new technologies, and to raise awareness and drive behavioural changes for energy demand reduction. (See Nishida, Hua and Okamoto in Building Research & Information, 44 -5/6. )
23 Proposals for key contingency plans 4. Reduce carbon emissions: In 2008, British Columbia implemented the first comprehensive and substantial carbon tax in North America. By 2012, the tax had reached a level of C$30/t CO 2, and covered approximately threequarters of all greenhouse gas emissions in the province… Empirical and simulation models suggest that the tax has reduced emissions in the province by 5– 15%. At the same time, models show that the tax has had negligible effects on aggregate economic performance, though certain emissions-intensive sectors have faced challenges. Studies differ on the effects of the policy on income distribution but agree that they are relatively small. Finally, polling data show that the public initially opposed the tax but now generally supports it… B. Murray and N. Rivers. 2015. “British Columbia’s Revenue- Neutral Carbon Tax: A Review of the Latest ‘Grand Experiment’ in Environmental Policy. ” NI WP 15 -04. Durham, NC: Duke University. http: //nicholasinstitute. duke. edu/publications.
24 Proposals for key contingency plans 5. Reduce locational risks: Prohibit new construction in areas with a high risk of flooding or fire. 6. Conserve land: In developed countries, except for cases of replacement, impose a freeze on new construction and supporting infrastructure in un-serviced or low-density areas. There is a need to preserve undeveloped land for agriculture and/or ecological or recreational areas, and to maximize efficiency of land that is actually developed. 7. Encourage urban agriculture: The availability of small and localized plots of land for urban agriculture will become of increasing importance as the use of trucks and private vehicles is discouraged in urban areas.
25 Proposals for key contingency actions 8. Support urban infill and mixed use: Establish urban infill programs to make better use of urban land to support the viability of local public transport. High densities can be achieved with mid-rise buildings, and very tall buildings are not necessarily required. 9. Limit embodied energy and emissions: Support adoption of environmental product declarations and require estimates of life-cycle and embodied emissions for heavy construction materials in major projects. Embodied GHG emissions are an increasingly important component of life-cycle emissions, since added thermal mass can improve operating performance, but this is often overlooked.
26 Proposals for key contingency actions 10. Assess performance and track key indicators: Ensure that performance assessments for major projects take into account key performance factors that may affect the safety, function or performance of the subject buildings and surrounding areas. 11. Monitor performance and maintain data: Establish performance monitoring systems and public databases within urban areas to provide building operators with annual feedback for action on energy, water key performance factors. Such databases should provide comparisons of subject buildings with the performance of reference buildings of the same type.
27 Proposals for key contingency actions 12. Clean energy: Minimize reliance on fossil fuels for electricity generation, upgrade power grids to accommodate renewable input sources, accelerate the introduction of decentralized renewable power sources, and ensure that feed-in tariff policies do not distort energy markets. Coal and heavy oils are especially problematic because of low combustion efficiencies and high emissions. Note that an electric car that is recharged from a system where electricity is generated by coal is not an example of clean energy…
28 Proposals for key contingency actions 13. Limit peak electrical demand: Rapidly reduce peak loads in electrical networks through rate structures to meet demand to ensure that existing generating facilities are efficiently used. Peak demand by electrical equipment in industrial facilities can be moderated by means of changes in industrial processes, rate structures, limitation of operating hours, load ceilings or other relevant means. Space cooling systems in retail and commercial facilities operate for a small number of hours per year, but at times of maximum peak demand, and this demand may be reduced by limitation of operating hours, use of electrical or thermal storage systems and/or renewable power sources.
29 Proposals for key contingency actions 14. Appliance and equipment efficiencies: Prohibit the sale of appliances and equipment that do not meet high operating efficiency criteria (e. g. "A+++" label in Europe). 15. Protect critical facilities and infrastructure: Ensure that facilities and services of critical importance, such as hospitals, public transportation systems, food supplies, water and sewage treatment and pumping systems, can remain functional at a basic level of performance under extreme conditions. This measure may require provision of back-up electrical power, heat, water or other vital services on a decentralized basis. Note that such projects may require 5 years or more to carry out, even on an urgent basis
30 Proposals for key contingency actions 16. Prepare to house relocated populations: Identify empty dwellings that may be useful for relocated populations and identify hotels, office buildings, schools and other public-use buildings that may be suitable for rapid conversion to residential uses. Such measures may be needed if there is an influx of people from other areas displaced by climate change. In regions with moderate climate, open space may be designated for temporary housing, if there is access to adequate support services.
31 Proposals for key contingency actions 17. Undertake deep green renovation: Where substantial performance gains are possible in a large number of residential and non-residential buildings, establish major programs for deep green renovation that result in nearlyzero operating emissions, better hot weather performance, reduced peak electrical loads and water consumption. Minimum renovation rates of 5% per year of floor space in OECD regions, and 3% per year in other regions have been suggested by Climate Action Tracker. Obviously, these global values would need adjustment for sub-regional or national variations in the suitability of existing building archetypes for deep green renovations, the availability of appropriate equipment and of skilled workers.
32 Proposals for key contingency actions 18. Ensure very high performance of new buildings: For new construction that is permitted, limit embodied emissions, require nearly-zero operating GHG emissions, limit peak electrical loads and water consumption. These are the core performance areas. A more complete list of key performance areas would include* § § § § Site Regeneration and Development, Urban Design and Infrastructure Energy and Resource Consumption Environmental Loadings Indoor Environmental Quality Service Quality Social, Cultural and Perceptual Aspects Cost and Economic Aspects * Taken from master list of SBTool performance criteria, ii. SBE 2016
33 Proposals for key contingency actions 19. Vernacular building: Where climatic, cultural and technological conditions are appropriate, encourage vernacular residential building design and construction techniques, where such approaches result in reduced GHG emissions. 20. Limit speculative price increases: Introduce measures to control speculation in real estate that results in large numbers of under-utilized or empty dwellings, and minimize short-term speculative increases in labour rates and costs of construction materials. Under emergency conditions, free-market speculation can lead to material shortages and an inability to carry out urgent repair and upgrade projects.
Radical changes in behaviour will be required, but are possible 34
35 In the face of shock conditions, even U. S. consumers accepted cuts in the production of consumer goods www. ameshistoricalsociety. org
37 Conclusions n Climate Change is real and its impacts will affect many sectors in a massive way; n The built environment (buildings and supporting urban environment) has a major impact on global emissions, so we must act decisively in reducing its share of impacts; n Climate change is long-term, so we must continue our efforts at GHG reduction without giving up; n Excessive consumption will not easily be reduced, and business as usual will lead us into global temperature increases considerably greater than the target maximum of 2ºC;
38 Conclusions n It is not unreasonable to assume that it will require several climate-induced disasters of major proportions to shock governments and their populations into real action, especially in wealthy areas such as North America, western Europe and key Asian areas; n When that happens, there will be an immediate demand for repair and reconstruction efforts, but we must also deal with the causes; n This will require that we have contingency plans at the ready to reduce GHGs in a very rapid way and to implement urgent measures for climate change adaptation; n We must begin such projects now.
Thank you for your attention Nils Larsson on behalf of ii. SBE