(photo: Markus Spiske)
11.11.2021, 18:32

COP26, Climate Change and the Built Environment

As the COP26 conference addresses carbon emissions from buildings for the first time, Jamie Cameron, Director of Digital Solutions at Johnson Controls UK&I, explains why driving down emissions across the built environment is critical to reversing climate change.


In a session dedicated to the built environment, leaders attending the COP26 conference have come together to "advance action in the places we live, from communities, through to cities and regions".


Finally, the role of the built environment is receiving the attention it deserves at COP26 as global leaders look to address carbon emissions from buildings in today’s dedicated Regions and Built Environment Day. And it’s not before time! About 40% of global carbon emissions and 50% of extracted materials comes from the buildings we use every day.


At last, the focus of today’s conference sends a clear and urgent message to the world that driving down emissions across the built environment is critical if we are to stand any chance of getting ahead of climate change.   


Thankfully, technologies already exist that can help us in lowering carbon emissions. Reviewing technology investments is one place to start as we gain a complete view on the environmental impacts of the built environment. Smart solutions can integrate all technologies found in a building across the fire, security, controls, HVAC, and occupancy systems, increasing overall efficiency and therefore reducing energy consumption. This is a win-win as businesses can lower energy consumption in their buildings to achieve net-zero goals but also save on energy costs. 


Smart technologies are no longer a gimmick or a flash in the pan initiative and must instead be recognised as a significant vehicle to make a positive impact and advance our sustainability efforts. In this sense, it is clear that smart technologies will be fundamental in reaching our climate goals. The evidence of the benefits of improved visibility over an organisation's carbon footprint – for our people, our planet, and now our businesses – are too prevalent to ignore.

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