Latest IPCC Report: What the built environment needs to consider


The latest UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report was published yesterday on 4.4.2022 [1]. The core message of the report is the same: The world has only a narrow chance of limiting global heating to 1.5°C, which already has a catastrophic impacts on the environment. However there have also been some updates. Many important points have been raised in the report, amongst them that global CO2 emissions need to peak by 2025. That is in three years.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine throws a shadow on climate actions. Many countries are reconsidering their reliance on fossil fuels in light of the Ukraine war, which has pushed already high energy prices to record levels. The crisis on the cost of living in many countries is forcing governments to rethink ways to protect their citizens from high prices and climate breakdown. Actions can include painting roofs with white colour to reflect the sun’s heat, or making buildings and built infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather [2].

Cities will be global hotspots as half of the world’s population lives in them. Climate change will affect people’s health and livelihoods, and property and infrastructure are being affected by heatwaves, storms, and flooding. However, cities also provide opportunities for a diverse set of climate action within public transport and flood prevention. Also, cities can enhance the design of retrofitting, upgrading, and redesigning buildings to be greener and renewably powered [3]. 

Techniques to remove carbon directly from air, e.g. carbon capture and storage, are still considered unproven technology and are likely too expensive to be scaled to the required capacity. This forces governments to put more effort on reducing energy demand. Energy efficiency and electrification measures are proven technologies that cut energy costs and support self-sufficiency of energy production.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that around 55% of the cumulative emissions reductions in the pathway to net zero are linked to consumer choices such as purchasing an electric vehicle, retrofitting buildings with energy-efficient technologies or installing heat pump systems [4]. According to IEA, suitable policy efforts for buildings are bans on new fossil fuel boilers and driving up sales of electric heat pumps, measures that have already been implemented in many cities across the US and EU. Zero-carbon-ready buildings are highly energy efficient and either use renewable energy directly or use an energy supply that will be fully decarbonised by 2050, such as electricity.

Building owners are facing large changes with their energy consumption. The faster investments are committed to net zero technologies, building owners can benefit from increased profitability while others need to deal with rising energy prices and hazards from extreme weather conditions. helps building owners to take advantage of electrified heating and cooling systems. Read more about our controls here:


[1] IPCC. Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change.

[2] The Guardian. 2022. Q&A: Has the IPCC’s bleak warning of climate breakdown been heard?

[3] IPCC Press Release 2022.

[4] IEA. 2021. Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.

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