The View From Here
by Ric Jackson
September 9th, 2019

Global Interest in Reducing Carbon Emissions Is Mounting

In June 2019, the UK passed historic legislation that will require net-zero carbon emissions by 2050—making compliance legally binding. And the plan is said to come at a relatively low cost.

Some of the tactics for achieving this bold measure include the electrification of cars, decarbonization of heating systems, carbon capture, setting thermostats no higher than 66 degrees Fahrenheit and eating less animal product. Housing will also be part of the equation. According to a May advisory report and an accompanying technical report, buildings are responsible for approximately 25% of carbon emissions in the UK, with residential being a major contributor.

To us, the strategy of making carbon emission reductions through federal law might sound radical, but in Europe, it’s becoming more common. Here we’re seeing many states and even cities taking on the cause through voluntary support of consumers and more aggressive building codes. And we are only seeing interest continue to grow and the measures becoming more stringent.

Case in point:

  • California’s Title 24 updates require all new buildings to achieve net-zero energy by 2020 for residences and 2030 for commercial buildings (read more);
  • New York City’s carbon emissions mandate including an 80% carbon reduction plan by 2050 and consequences for noncompliance (read more);
  • Washington D.C.’s renewable energy targets that are the most aggressive in the U.S. (read more); and
  • International Green Construction Code updates that support a new era of building design and construction, including environmental health and safety code minimums (read more).

There are many more examples of mounting interest in higher levels of green building and construction at home, abroad, in legislation and in the private sector.

The View from Here is that regardless of where you stand on climate change, the potential impacts and opportunities for our industry are vast. Continuously improving the energy efficiency of buildings is good for businesses that supply energy-efficient building components. And it will pay to stay ahead of the game.

What’s your View? Email me directly at eric.jackson@quanex.com.

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