'Paris Agreement' on a tightrope

The construction sector is one of the strongest areas a country has for economic growth. However, as the world's building sector grows, time is running out to reduce CO2 emissions in order to meet the goals of the 'Paris Agreement'.

A study conducted in 2017 by Global Status Report, part of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction found that with the current energy intensity per square meter of buildings, there must be an improvement in the technology used to make energy more efficient (reduce carbon emission rates) by at least 30% by the year 2030, otherwise the climate goals set out in the 'Paris Agreement' will not be met.

The report also revealed that the total number of buildings projected to be built in 2060, two-thirds of  them will be in countries that do not have mandatory energy codes for sustainable construction. To get a better idea of the number of constructions that will take place between 2017 and 2060, 230,000 million m2 of additional buildings will be built. “This is equivalent to adding the full surface area of Japan every 365 days for 42 years or to add Paris surface every seven days until 2060”, said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency during the international conference 'Energy efficiency in buildings: how to accelerate investment'.

The 'Paris Agreement' is a global commitment under the 'United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change' which establishes measures to reduce toxic emissions that produce the Greenhouse Effect, thus reduce the impact of Global Warming.

In June of this year, United States President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of his country from the 'Paris Agreement', as one of his campaign promises when he said that “the economic interests of America (United States) must be first”.

The United States withdrawal from the 'Paris Agreement' represents a major problem. The countries or jurisdictions that emit the most carbon dioxide emissions are: China (29.4%), the United States (14.3%), the European Union (9.8%), India (6.8%), Russia (4.9%), Japan (3.5%), and others (31.5%).

Meanwhile, during 2015, in Latin America, in terms of growth figures in the construction industry, Colombia was one of the leaders with a growth of 4.9% compared to the previous year, according to data from the National Statistics Department (DANE), surpassing countries such as Brazil (-2.9%), Chile (2%), Mexico (4.2%), and Peru (-6.8%).


Latin American Post | Juan Felipe Guerrero

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto