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Blogs 4 mar 2024

90% CO2 REDUCTION BY 2040: a necessary acceleration

Although the targets for 2030 and 2050 have been known for some time, on 6 February the European Commission presented its new climate target for 2040, which consists of a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions to achieve the Paris Agreement targets. This is in line with the lower bound of the scientific advice (i.e. a required minimum reduction of 90% to 95%). The need for immediate action, thus, is more urgent than ever before.

Climate change causing enormous economic damage

Economic damage from climate change over the past five years in the European Union is estimated at EUR 170 billion — which equals almost half of total government revenue in the Netherlands (i.e. EUR 402 billion). This emphasises the fact that ignoring climate change, in the long run, will be significantly more expensive than taking proactive measures today.

Focus on CO2 emissions in the construction sector

Almost 40% of global CO2 emissions can be attributed to the construction sector. This shows that, if we are to stay on course to achieving EU targets, significant improvements are needed in this area. Although a third of these emissions are related to the use of materials, this fact is hardly driving the reduction effort. With the challenge of huge housing shortages ahead, it is crucial to focus not only on energy neutrality, but also on the impact of material use on CO2 emissions.

Innovative solutions and insights are key

To address current problems, the construction sector needs to fundamentally change the way it uses materials. One solution would be to reduce material-related CO2 emissions from new construction projects by opting for bio-based building materials. A striking example of this practice is Rau Architects’ Juf Nienke project. In addition, reusing or recycling existing building materials and products will reduce the need for new production, thus decreasing CO2 emissions. The insight that Madaster provides — for example, into the degree of detachability of products and elements — secures the reuse potential in the future.

Guiding matters into a certain direction always begins with insight. Insight into the CO2 footprint of your project will help to explain what this entails and to anticipate on it. Madaster facilitates this, for instance, with its recently updated 3D viewer that quickly shows which building components contribute either positively or negatively to a project’s material-related CO2 emissions. Madaster can also be used for making various scenario analyses to compare certain design choices.

It is encouraging to see an increasing number of organisations taking responsibility for their footprint and adjusting their daily operations accordingly. A good example of this is housing corporation Staedion, which uses Madaster to gain insight into its CO2 footprint, amongst other things.

Curious as to how Madaster could help you to obtain better insight into your material-related CO2 emissions? Please feel free to contact me, entirely without obligation, at sander.beeks@madaster.com.

Sander Beeks

Partnership Manager Madaster Netherlands

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