The UK has pledged to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The built environment, of which the construction sector is a crucial component, currently contributes some 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions and it is estimated that the construction sector contributes up to 11% of global carbon emissions.
Although the concrete and cement industry has reduced absolute CO2 emissions by 53% in the last 30 years, more needs to be done in the next 30. Is that possible, what must the industry do to make it happen, and what policies must be in place to ensure net zero by 2050 in this critical sector?
Senior engineers from academia and industry assess how net zero can be achieved in the construction sector in a new report Decarbonising construction: building a new net zero industry published by the National Engineering Policy Centre, a partnership of 43 of the UK’s professional engineering organisations led by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Journalists came to this online briefing to hear from members of the working group and put their questions to them.
Speakers, all of whom contributed to the report, included:
Dr Mike Cook FREng, Partner at BuroHappold and Institution of Structural Engineers Sustainability Lead
Dr Julie Godefroy, Head of Sustainability at the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
Dr Simon Harrison, Group Head of Strategy at Mott MacDonald and Vice-President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology
Prof Rebecca Lunn MBE FREng FRSE, Head of the Centre for Ground Engineering and Energy Geosciences at the University of Strathclyde