Retrofit is key to avoiding climate disaster, says latest IPCC report

An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report has said the UK Government must act now to decarbonise the built environment and avoid climate disaster.

The IPCC, in summary of three recent major publications, outlined a series of recommendations to governments on how to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Recommendations included retrofitting buildings as well as consideration of materials used in the design and construction process, and reducing carbon. Other key adaptation and mitigation strategies included reducing energy consumption and the 'co-location of housing and jobs' in cities.

The IPCC added that without greater action by governments, the world was set to overshoot the 1.5°C target in the 2030s, when the next IPCC report is due.

The report said: "Limiting human-caused global warming requires net zero CO2 emissions. Urban systems are critical for achieving deep emissions reductions and advancing climate resilient development."

UK Green Building Council Chief Executive Julie Hirigoyen said: "Quite simply, we are walking when we should be sprinting. The UK Government must use this report as an opportunity to finally put our net zero future at the heart of everything it does. 

"By delivering nationwide projects to upgrade home energy efficiency and reforming the planning system to deliver buildings and spaces fit for our net zero future, the Government can mainstream proven, scalable solutions to the climate and cost of living crises."

Hirigoyen also called for the publication of the Government's updated Net Zero Strategy.

The UK Green Building Council says the Government has previously been called upon to monitor or regulate carbon emissions from the built environment, which make up about 40% of the UK's emissions.

This article originally appeared on Architects' Journal

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Climate change Retrofit