Exploring the environmental status post-pandemic and how we can slowly bring our focus back on global warming as we recover from COVID-19.
Before the pandemic, there was a concerted effort from the world leaders to curb the ill effects of global warming and all nations were united towards this endeavour. There was an increased emphasis on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions to achieve net zero with new energy technologies and carbon dioxide removal techniques to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Cut to 2020, COVID-19 completely changed the focus of the governments of the world as they worked night and day to curb the impact on human life and eroding economies through this difficult pandemic period.
During this period, however, as the world came to a complete standstill, we have unwittingly reaped some benefits from less vehicular pollution, less travel, low carbon emissions, etc. A landmark study in impact of pandemic protocols on environment stated that, “Daily global CO2 emissions decreased by –17% in April 2020 compared with the mean 2019 levels, just under half from changes in surface transport. At their peak, emissions in individual countries decreased by –26% on average.”
This impact however, has been a drop in the ocean in mitigating global warming. A study concluded that, “The effect of lockdown’s temporary fall in CO₂ emissions was negligible. Even if some lockdown measures stay in place for the best part of two years, global temperatures will still only be 0.01°C lower than if we followed an emission pathway where the pandemic never happened.”
The worry now is to see how countries recover from the economic repercussions of this pandemic. If the economic recovery is built on the reliance on traditional fossil fuels and building materials, it will not only increase greenhouse gas emissions on top of existing plans by 10% by 2030 but also lead to a further setback in our chances of reaching the Paris Agreement goal to mitigate dangerous climate change.
PWC urges that the focus should now be on how rebuilding green with the usage of sustainable building materials and solutions can stimulate economic recovery while achieving a more resilient system in the process. The EU has confirmed that the COVID-19 crisis will not stop Europe from developing bolder 2030 climate targets, some countries seem to have aligned their climate priorities to focus on pressing economic needs for several years. Needless to say, we are likely to see some governments struggling to integrate climate priorities due to pressing economic needs in a recovery.
Nonetheless, the pandemic has allowed us an opportunity to understand that without combined global action we are still heading on a path towards dangerous climate change. It is important now to focus on green building initiatives to aid countries in achieving their emission targets and curb green house effects. This can be done by investing in sustainable construction materials, achieving energy efficiency in buildings using Exterior Insulation Finishing Systems (EIFS) / Exterior Thermal Insulation Systems (ETICS) and research on key energy efficient technologies.
Terraco has pledged to only use environmentally friendly technologies for its entire product mix. All products are certified to be low VOC with absolute minimum impact on the environment. Through use of Terraco EIFS systems, we can experience up to 50% energy savings leading to a decrease in fuel consumption in thermally protected buildings leading to positive ecological effects. With the consumption of non-renewable energy resources reduced, less CO2 emissions are released which are responsible for global warming.
Terraco is also proud to have recently joined the EAE (European Association for External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems) where through our close and fruitful cooperation, we will be able to develop the market, communicate the environmental benefits of ETICS, work with technical teams to develop the systems approach and constantly improve the systems to ensure a sustainable path forward.