In 2013, the Infrastructure Carbon Review identified that the infrastructure sector is responsible for over 50% of the UK’s carbon emissions, based on a 2010 dataset that identified contributions by sector and the emissions under the control and influence of different parts of the sector. In addition, this review found that, due to anticipated decarbonisation in other sectors, infrastructure was likely to account for 90% of the UK’s carbon emissions by 2050. Very large reductions in infrastructure’s carbon emissions are therefore critical to meet the UK’s 2050 carbon reduction targets, and progress needs to be kept under constant review.
ICE’s Carbon Project (formerly the Net Zero Task Force) is focused on enabling civil engineers to understand and act effectively to reduce carbon emissions throughout the sector and influencing wider industry. One critical question is the extent to which progress has been made since the Infrastructure Carbon Review, especially since this review was based on 2010 data. The UK’s hosting of the CoP26 climate talks in Glasgow in November 2021 heightens the need for progress and recent data.
Therefore, one current ICE research project, led by Dr Jannik Giesekam, is to update the emissions dataset behind the original Infrastructure Carbon Review with data from 2010 to 2018. Updating the dataset will provide an assessment of progress to date and highlight the remaining challenges in delivering Net Zero.
In this lecture, Tim Chapman (Arup) will discuss how a whole systems approach helps to understand not only the significance of the updated emissions data but also how to use it most effectively. Next, Dr Giesekam (Leeds University) will describe the research and the updated emissions data from 2010-18. Finally, Maria Manidaki (Mott MacDonald) will provide a practitioner’s perspective on the significance of the emissions update and how the whole sector can respond.
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