EU Emissions Gap Report shows time is running out

John Lumb, Director at Evotech Air Quality, explains how building emissions can be reduced through energy efficiency measures to help get the world on track for net zero and clean our air. 

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recently released its 2022 edition of the Emissions Gap Report: The Closing Window. The report provides an update on global emissions pathways and progress towards achieving national mitigation pledges and the Paris Agreement goals, as well as the resulting ‘emissions gap’.

The report finds that the international community is falling far short of the Paris goals, with no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place and states, that only an urgent system-wide transformation can now avoid climate disaster, and to avoid this we must cut emissions by 45%.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 99% of the world’s population is now breathing polluted air, with more than seven million deaths across the world attributed to air pollution each year.

low angle photography of white building under blue sky

Buildings are currently responsible for 40% of global energy related carbon emissions, of which 28% comes from energy used to heat, cool and power them. There are many ways a building can be made more energy efficient, from using the latest LED lighting technology to optimising the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, which alone can make cost savings of 20-40% on energy whilst significantly reducing associated carbon emissions.

In fact, using AI technology to optimise the HVAC at one of our clients’ buildings has reduced carbon emissions by at least 141.5 tCO2, and saved 681.2 MWh’s of gas & electricity with associated cost savings of £123k in only eleven months. Using advance machine learning technology and live data from IOT sensors installed throughout the building, Evotech’s myBEMS solution analyses, manages and optimises the building’s HVAC system automatically. The result is reduced energy wastage and improved occupant wellbeing.

With such a short return on investment and with the bonus of continuing energy cost savings, building owners and managing agents are in a unique position to make an instant and significant positive impact on air pollution and climate change.

Atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases warming our planet – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – all reached new record highs in 2021, according to a new report from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO). With Governments across the globe focussing on economic instability and national security, the immediate future for climate change is looking bleak. However, whilst a 45% cut in greenhouse gas emissions is an extremely challenging target, we must all do our bit to help achieve this goal as soon as possible and making buildings more energy efficient can help significantly.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) for commercial buildings are already enshrined in law with energy performance certificates (EPC) increasing over the next 5 years from the current E to C or higher by 1 April 2027, and B or higher by 2030. In many buildings already with a building management system in place, myBEMS can help achieve MEES quickly and cost effectively.

Photo by Matthew Hamilton


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