We need to harness the green equity in our buildings

Professor Fernando de Roda

This urgently needed measure can help us combat climate change, writes Fernando de Roda

On May 15 this year, the atmospheric CO2 concentration measured at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa observatory – at an altitude of 3,400m and in one of the cleanest environments on the planet – reached a record level of 415.64 ppm. This level is “not only the highest seasonal peak recorded in 61 years of observations on top of Hawaii’s largest volcano, but also the highest level in human history and higher than at any point in millions of years”, says the centre’s scientific director, Pieter Tans.

While the first historical records of Mauna Loa showed annual increases of +0.7ppm, in the 1990s the annual growth rate averaged +1.5ppm and rose to +2.2ppm in the following decade. But May’s monthly average was 3.5ppm higher than the same month in 2018, the highest year-on-year growth ever. Unsurprisingly, July 2019 was the warmest month on record: +0.04ºC above the previous July 2016 mark.

There is abundant and conclusive evidence that these record figures and the acceleration of climate change are caused by emissions. The world is waking up to the problem and action is being taken. But is it enough?

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