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Co2 Emissions, A Review Of The Uk Domestic Target

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Co2 Emissions, A Review Of The Uk Domestic Target

  1. 1. CO2 Emissions, Edward William Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP A Review of The United Kingdom’s Domestic Target CO2 Emissions, A Review of The United Kingdom’s Domestic Target Edward William Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP ABSTRACT This paper provides a review of CO2 emissions within the UK. A detailed account of all the fundamental world conferences and steps taken to curtail CO2 emissions globally is provided. The review considers the International, European and the United Kingdom’s (UK) specific CO2 emission reduction targets established by the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and also analyses the UK governments even more challenging 20% CO2 emission reduction target by 2010. Government schemes, papers & legislation to achieve this domestic goal are reviewed focussing upon the mechanisms in place working to achieve the target and mechanisms in place working against the target. CO2 emissions predictions by the UK government are analysed until 2010 and the review concludes a UK shortfall from the domestic target of approximately 10.5MtC of which the Built Environment sector accounts for 5MtC. A case study focuses upon the difference of CO2 emission between a sustainable and a non- sustainable residential development. An analysis is presented providing the CO2 emission from each building. Through a process of mathematics the sustain-ably constructed building identifies a difference of CO2 emissions from the non-sustainable building. This difference is then divided into the UK domestic target shortfall. The answer of 500,000 equates to the required number of similar sized sustainable construction projects within the UK to bring the Built Environment sector back on tract to meet the UK CO2 Emission, 20% Domestic Target by 2010. 1
  2. 2. CO2 Emissions, Edward William Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP A Review of The United Kingdom’s Domestic Target INTRODUCTION assessments & concludes with respective CO2 emissions from each development. Climate Change (CC) and Global Warming (GW) are unequivocally the biggest and The UK domestic target is once more most fundamental problems facing planet defined, in particular the anticipated CO2 earth and mankind today. CC and GW is emission shortfall. Through a process of the greatest environmental challenge mathematics the sustainable construction facing mankind today as they are case study identifies a difference of CO2 expected to have a cataclysmic effect emissions from the non-sustainable across the globe. Rising global building. This difference is then divided temperatures will bring changes in into the domestic target shortfall. The weather patterns, rising sea levels and answer generally equates to the required increased frequency and intensity of number of sustainable construction extreme weather events. The effects will projects required to place the UK on track be felt globally and time scale is subject to for an achievable domestic goal. the sensitivity of our climate system. The philosophy of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) [1] THE ROAD TO KYOTO stipulates the worst effects of CC can be avoided if greenhouse gases incorporating In 1896 Svante Arrhenius, suggested that carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere changes in CO2 levels over 100,000 year are stabilised instead of being allowed to time scales were a critical factor in the increase on planet Earth. natural cycles between ice ages [2]. A detailed account of all the fundamental Seuss and Revelle in 1957 were scientists world conferences and steps taken to with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography curtail CO2 emission globally is provided. (SIO) [3]. They reported CO2 emitted into the atmosphere by industrial activities was This paper considers the United not being absorbed by the oceans. They Kingdom’s (UK) specific CO2 emission suggested the increase of CO2 in the reduction target established by the KP. atmosphere is "a large-scale geophysical The UK is striving to pioneer the way experiment" with the Earth’s climate. forward for CO2 emission reduction and has subsequently set an even more Keeling in 1958, was a scientist with the challenging domestic goal. The target is Scripps Institute, he began the first reliable analysed taking into account government and continuous measurements of schemes, papers & legislation put in place atmospheric CO2 [4]. to achieve this more stringent objective. Mechanisms in place working to achieve Stockholm 1972 saw the first United the target and mechanisms in place Nations (UN) Conference on the human working against the target are evaluated. environment [5]. CC was identified as a pressing issue. The UN initiated the Projected CO2 emission reduction by the Environment Programme. UK government is analysed until 2010 and a shortfall is identified. Geneva 1979 saw the first World Climate Conference [6]. The World Climate The construction industry is pivotal to a Program was formed to coordinate global successful achievement of the domestic research on CC and collect scientific data. goal. Sustainable construction undoubtedly reduces CO2 emissions. In Villach (Austria) Conference in 1985 order for the review to provide and issued a warning that "Many important authoritative conclusion, the paper economic decisions are based on the provides a residential case study. assumption that past climate is a reliable guide to the future. This is no longer a The case study concentrates on the good assumption." [7] difference of CO2 emission between sustainable and non-sustainable The Montreal Protocol was established in construction. An analysis of two 1987. Twenty-four countries agreed to residential buildings are presented freeze consumption of CFCs and halons at focussing upon building fabric, ‘U’ values, 1986 levels, and reduce consumption by heat gains, heat losses, benchmark BRE 50% by the year 1997 [8]. 2
  3. 3. CO2 Emissions, Edward William Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP A Review of The United Kingdom’s Domestic Target The Intergovernmental Panel on CC [9] INTERNATIONAL, EUROPEAN UNION, (IPCC) was established in 1988 and was THE UK’S COMMITMENT AND THE headed up by Bert Bolin. The IPCC was DOMESTIC TARGET composed mainly of people who participated not only as science experts The United Nations Framework but also as official representatives of their Convention on Climate Change government’s. The IPCC was collated by (UNFCCC), and the provisions of the KP the UN Environment Programme and the to that Convention stipulates developed World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) countries have agreed that they will cut to assess the scientific research on CC their overall emissions of greenhouse and its environmental impacts. gases by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2008- 2012 [14]. Figure Number 1 – Bert Bolin th Since Russia ratified the KP on 16 February 2005, the KP is now international law [15] and the targets are legally binding. The European Union (EU) and its Member States have agreed to meet a joint target of 8% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels between 2008-2012 [16]. This 'bubble' arrangement allows the EU's target to be redistributed between member states (MS) to reflect their national circumstances, requirements for economic growth, and the scope for further emission reductions. The Conference on the Changing Atmosphere in Toronto 1988 identified a In June 1998, the UK agreed to reduce its 20% reduction in CO2 emissions emissions by 12.5%, which is the UK’s requirement [10]. legally binding target under the KP. The first assessment report by the IPCC The UK signed the UNFCCC on the 12th was endorsed at Geneva 1990 [11] during June at Rio de Janeiro 1992 and ratified it the Second World Climate Conference. on the 8th December 1993 [17]. The The conference suggested an international Government is now obligated to meet the agreement to mitigate global warming. commitments of the UNFCCC. One of the outcomes of the UN The UK Government has set a domestic Conference on Environment and goal to go further than the KP commitment Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro and cut the UK’s emissions of CO2 by 20% 1992 [12] was that 154 nations signed the below 1990 levels by 2010 [18] UNFCCC, voluntarily agreeing to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels The 2003 Energy White Paper (EWP) by the year 2000. announced that the government would put the UK on a pathway to achieve CO2 The first assessment by the IPCC was emission reductions of 60% by 2050 [19]. released in 1995 [13]. The conclusion suggested “the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate." Kyoto Japan in 1997 saw the birth of the KP when 159 nations negotiated a treaty setting out legally binding reduction targets. 3
  4. 4. CO2 Emissions, Edward William Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP A Review of The United Kingdom’s Domestic Target CURRENT UK EMISSIONS that can be quantified, it was estimated the programme could also deliver a cut of 19% The graph below indicates CO2 emission in CO2 by 2010. data for the top ten polluting countries in 2004. It can be seen from the graph, the The main projections of the UK's UK CO2 emissions equate to emissions of CO2 are derived from the DTI approximately 150MtC / year. energy model. This is basically a set of interlocking models of final user energy Figure Number 2 – Top Ten Countries sectors and the electricity supply sector. It Carbon Emissions [20] is predominantly a 'top down' model (see Fig 3 below), based around econometrically estimated relationships between energy demand, economic activity (income) and energy prices [22] The DTI produce and publish energy projections for the UK and anticipated CO2 emissions [21]. Figure Number 4 – Top Down Model [21] The UK currently contributes 2.3% towards the overall production of CO2 emission on earth. The production of CO2 within the UK is divided into various sectors: Figure Number 3 – Sectors Within The UK Producing CO2 Emissions [20] Current projections indicate and by Governments own admission; the UK is currently not on target to achieve the domestic goal [23]. The projection of CO2 Buildings Industrial & emissions by 2010 is currently 141.3MtC 20% Manufacturing [24]. The UK domestic goal is 130.8MtC Process 20% by 2010. This equates to a shortfall of 10.5MtC and an overall CO2 reduction of 14%. Although the KP and subsequently Domestic the EU targets are being achieved, this is 28% considerably lower than the UK (20% reduction) domestic target. Transport 32% MECHANISMS IN PLACE WORKING TO ACHIEVE THE UK DOMESTIC TARGET There are various mechanisms in place working to achieve the UK CO2 emission reduction target. The governments PREDICTED UK EMISSIONS BY 2010 Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) whose main driving force is to ensure the There have been various updates of CO2 UK domestic target is achievable through emission predictions over time. The CC the EWP. The Department for programme set out a wide-ranging Environment, Food and Rural Affairs package of policies and measures. It (DEFRA) are continually analysing the estimated that the policies could reduce situation associated with CO2 emission the UK greenhouse gas emissions to 23% reduction and bring emissions to the below 1990 levels by 2010 [21]. forefront of speeches and debates. Furthermore, on the basis of the policies 4
  5. 5. CO2 Emissions, Edward William Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP A Review of The United Kingdom’s Domestic Target Grants are often available through CASE STUDY government to offset high pay-back periods for sustainable equipment thus Two similar sized residential buildings ensuring financial feasibility. Professional have been selected for a case study. The bodies are also following the sustainability Green Building is Sustainable and Heaton theme and often promote sustainable Park Development is not sustainable. In development during conferences. order to correctly establish the CO2 emissions from each development the The most important mechanism in place following case study model has been working towards delivering a low carbon utilised for each building built environment is Building Regulations Part ‘L’ which specify levels of CO2 Figure Number 5 – Case Study Model emission from construction projects must not be compromised during design. MECHANISMS IN PLACE WORKING AGAINST THE UK TARGET There are various mechanisms in place working against the UK CO2 emission reduction target. The construction industry is cost orientated and sustainable technologies are often discarded early in the design process due to anticipated increased Cap Ex. Grants which are often available to offset high Cap Ex and pay- back periods are difficult to obtain. The application process can be long winded and onerous. The current low cost of utilities is another problem as clients are not focussed on energy costs and only a minimal number of clients consider the life cycle cost of their buildings. Although the Building Regulations Part ‘L’ are in place to ensure energy conservation, building control knowledge of the complicated calculation process is limited. Scores of inefficient projects slip through the net because of inadequate building control understanding. MECHANISMS COMPARISON CO2 Calculation Process Considering the mechanisms working The CO2 calculation process is complex toward the target, the mechanisms and identifies the anticipated CO2 working against the target and the actual emission from the each development. The target prediction for 2010, it is clear much calculation method utilised to determine more work is required to successfully meet emissions from each development is the UK domestic goal. defined within Schools Environmental Assessment Method (SEAM) by the Generally, the mechanisms in place department for Education and working to achieve the target are vast and Employment. The calculation is defined on with the correct implication could bring the page 29 [25]. The calculation process UK back on track to meet the UK domestic considers construction and energy goal. However, it appears the same consumption principles and is therefore mechanisms are working against not limited to schools. themselves. Good measures have been put in place, generally by government, but The calculation procedure is undertaken the processes to implement the measures by the following steps: are obstructive. 5
  6. 6. CO2 Emissions, Edward William Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP A Review of The United Kingdom’s Domestic Target • The floor areas, walls, windows and The Green Building provides a mixed-used ‘U’ values for each apartment is complex, created for comfortable, modern measured, and sustainable use. In addition to 32 apartments, there is a 120-place pre- • The total heat losses for each school nursery. apartment are calculated: A number of sustainable design elements • Q=UA(T1-T0) Watts, are incorporated in the Green Building, including a ten-storey cylindrical ‘drum’ • The natural ventilation losses (Taken housing the apartments which utilise both as an average considering toilets) for natural ventilation and underfloor heating each apartment are calculated: supplied via condensing boilers. The building is complete with roof mounted • Q=0.33NV(T1-T0) Watts, solar collectors and a wind turbine providing power for the communal lighting. • All gains, power, lighting, solar & occupancy are calculated, The Green Building is clad in a recyclable insulating material in cool green with • The total heating requirement contrasting wood panels. Brightly established in kWh coloured sections are interspersed with floor-to-ceiling glazed panels and timber- framed windows. This encourages natural • The anticipated electrical consumption light in to the open environment. is estimated in kWh HEATON PARK DEVELOPMENT • The calculated gas and electricity consumption is converted to CO2 Figure Number 7 – Heaton Park emissions utilising conversion factors identified in Building Regulations Part ‘L’ (Gas @ 0.192 and Grid Supplied Electricity @ 0.422). • Once the anticipated CO2 emission has been calculated for each apartment the figures (KgCO2) are collated for the entire building on an annual basis i.e. kgCO2/year. THE GREEN BUILDING Figure Number 6 – The Green Building The Heaton Park Development is a non- sustainable building located in Manchester. The building comprises 23 apartments spread over 2 buildings (existing church and a new building). The converted church has 5 levels and the new building has 3 levels with a community centre. The Heaton Park development is not sustainable. The church refurbishment was exempt from building regulations and subsequently it was not necessary to The Green Building is a sustainable increase the building performance with development located in Macintosh Village, respect to energy efficiency. Manchester City Centre. 6
  7. 7. CO2 Emissions, Edward William Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP A Review of The United Kingdom’s Domestic Target The new building was subject to Building Sustainable development at the residential Regulations. The developer wanted to case study can save 10 Tonnes Carbon maximise the profitability of the scheme annually. This divided into the UK built and therefore discarded recommendations environment shortfall equates to a for the installation of sustainable requirement of 500,000 similar sized technologies. sustainable projects within the UK. CASE STUDY RESULTS CONCLUSION CO2 emissions from each development The paper has provided an account of the were calculated with the following results main driving forces to successfully achieve utilising the case study model. the UK CO2 reduction targets namely, EWP, DEFRA, DTI, & various other Table Number 1 – CO2 Emissions from government funded companies / trusts. The Green Building and Heaton Park Development The UK target under the KP to reduce a basket of six greenhouse gases to 12.5% below 1990 levels by 2008 - 2012 is Development KgCO2/Yr currently on schedule. However, the domestic goal of a 20% reduction in CO2 The Green Building 53,000 emissions below 1990 levels by 2010 is currently not on target. The review identifies there will be a shortfall of Heaton Park approximately 10.5MtC for which 90,000 Development approximately 47% is attributed to the built environment. The overall reduction of CO2 emission is currently running at DISCUSSION approximately 14% below 1990 levels. This equates to a 6% CO2 emission Information provided in the case study shortfall from the domestic target. shows the sustainable building can potentially save 37,000 KgCO2 / year ie: The mechanisms working to achieve the UK CO2 reduction target are mainly 90,000 – 53,000 = 37,000 KgCO2 / year government initiated and can be very successful, in particular the building It is important to note the potential savings regulations as they are law. However, through sustainable construction between almost all the government initiated drivers two residential developments in in one way or another are working against Manchester is measured in CO2. The UK themselves effectively becoming domestic target is measured in CO2 but mechanisms working against the UK CO2 the target shortfall is defined in carbon. reduction targets. The current projected shortfall of the UK The case study analyses two residential domestic target is 10.5MtC. Buildings developments. Consideration is given for a account for 47% emissions therefore 47% sustainable development against a non- of the shortfall is attributed to the built sustainable development. The results environment. conclude the sustainable development produces much less CO2 emission and The Built environment should therefore can potentially save 10 Tonnes Carbon consider saving approximately 5MtC/year annually. Through calculation 500,000 to assist the UK to get back on track to similar sized projects would be required to meet the domestic target. bring the built environment sector back on track for the successful achievement of the Potential Savings in CO2 converted to UK domestic target. Carbon, Calculation: By Edward Jolly MSc BEng (Hons) MCIBSE LEED AP (37000 x 12 ) / 44 = 10000KgC 10,000 / 1000 = 10 tC 7
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