Those policies have been translated into binding national plans despite some political turmoil on the energy supply side. In the UK, however, Brexit has shifted priorities and sustainability is no longer a strong focus. While the UK still has a very active construction market, the uncertainty of Brexit has slowed down the push for more stringent regulations or innovative market leadership around sustainability, stalling code developments and commitments in this market.
Another factor that greatly affects the global market gaps surrounding electrification of buildings is the diversity in climate around the world. Places with milder climates and consequently a low heating demand are ahead in the development of electric buildings powered by renewable energy instead of fossil fuel sources.
A city like Bangkok, for instance, does not have a natural gas grid, and nobody trucks in oil to heat buildings. By default, their buildings are often already all-electric. In contrast, in climates with a much higher heating demand, like the northeastern US or the UK, electrification is still a challenge.
The need to provide heating efficiently makes all-electric systems difficult to implement, and the environmental viability of electrification depends very much on the makeup of the local electricity grid.
We can see this difference if we look at California that now has lots of renewable resources on the grid and enjoys the advantages of all-electric buildings from a climate emissions standpoint. In contrast, in New York City we are expecting an increase in carbon emissions for grid electricity, as in the coming years the Indian Point nuclear power plant will go offline, resulting in local fossil fuel plants to replace capacity.
In this case, local small-scale fossil fuel cogeneration will be a more greenhouse gas advantageous strategy over the all-electric buildings, due to the ability to reuse waste heat from fossil power generation for heating. This means building electrification will lag behind until the local grid has a higher renewable faction and the carbon emissions factors shift favorably to fossil fuel-free buildings. Analyzing the building needs of these different climates as well as the local utility infrastructure is critical. Not only does it help us discern the right technology on the electrification side, but, even more importantly, in doing so, it leads communities to think beyond the individual building and look at district-type technologies such as district ground coupled energy plants or community solar systems.
District approaches extend beyond energy to other systems, such as storm water management, water reuse and ecosystem services. Moreover, this approach opens up the potential to combine a much deeper understanding of how a building operates with controls that include utility data, predictive modeling and data collection, weather forecasts, and tenant usage patterns that will lead us to operate buildings in a more energy efficient way.
Development and Sustainability
To give a practical example, in commercial buildings, operators are looking to track typical occupancy patterns and building system responses, such as the length of time it takes to get a building up to temperature in the morning. Sensors can provide input to improved analytics, allowing hours of unnecessary equipment run time to be shaved off, cutting costs and emissions at the same time.
While all these advancements are ultimately working toward mitigating climate change, it is already a reality; thus, climate change is an increasingly pressing design and development driver. Resiliency planning recognizes that extreme weather events are going to happen much more frequently and implements physical building infrastructure to protect against catastrophic events to allow buildings and communities to recover with minimal damage and downtime.
We need to recognize the impact of materials on our health and wellbeing. There is an enormous amount of work to be done to really understand the toxicity of the built environments we create. We can start by re-engineering products to remove some of the worst offenders, and we need to develop clear reporting protocols and metrics in terms of complete supply chains to start making truly informed decisions.
Australia is on the forefront of looking at social justice impacts in the manufacture of products. As the country imports goods from surrounding nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia or China, where labor practices are often questionable, people are starting to look closer at the social justice profile of different products to inform socially responsive procurement decisions. It is encouraging to see the traction of environmentally responsible design picking up in different parts of the world despite varying government priorities and progress speeds. Europe is, at this point, driven by a larger regulatory environment, established at the European Union level with member state efforts to enforce clear action on climate change and human health issues.
But there are clear targets and a lot of momentum that creates certainty for large investments in technology, policy and infrastructure development. There are a lot of very ambitious initiatives and fast-moving activities, but often only on the city or community scale. The silver lining is that this smaller scale allows for more experimentation and a more regional response.
Unfortunately, it is in some ways hampered by the same issues: there is no strong federal plan, guidance or long-term trajectory, and as a result, a lot of it is happening at the local or grassroots level. The interconnected water-food- energy dilemma which the US already faces is similar to that which many fast growing economies will have to tackle very soon. As much of Asia urbanizes and industrializes and is encouraged to pursue lower emission energy choices more water will have to be directed towards energy and away from agriculture.
Recall that this will occur at exactly the same time as these countries will also need to almost double their food production.
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We can see first responses to the growth challenge of the food-energy-water nexus already being played out around the world as water-scarce, fast growing economies in Asia and the Gulf seek to acquire agricultural land in water-rich countries like equatorial Africa. These so called 'land grabs' are really about water.
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This challenging scenario of water trade-offs over the next two decades should also be set against the context of today's water management challenges. Unfortunately, the story gets worse. Due to a historical profligacy of water use, the old adage of "You wouldn't want to be starting from here" holds true.
Concept of Sustainable Development – An Indian Perspective | Biyani Group of Colleges
Over 70 of the world's major rivers now hardly reach the ocean due to the extensive diversion of water for human use. As demand continues to grow, competition for water will intensify between economic sectors, as well as between geographies.
In addition, let's not forget that a potentially changing climate will simply accelerate freshwater security challenges faced in many places around the world. Unlike options in energy, there are no substitutes or alternatives to water. We will simply have to adapt. This is not just a sustainable development problem for the very poorest nations. Even southern parts of the UK can already be classed as under water stress.
For all these reasons business as usual is not an option. We cannot manage water into the future as we have in the past.
Given the timescales associated with turning things around in the water sector, the need for long term planning, and the dire conditions some countries already find themselves in, senior analysts suggest we have about 10 years to act. The good news is that the next few years hold great potential for a transformation in the world's water management.
Unlike climate change, no-one can argue that the problem does not exist, or that solutions are quickly required. New technologies, new partnership arrangements and new policies will be required. Read more.
Happiness and Sustainable Development in India
Local no longer: water resources and sustainable development. Water pollution : Rachel Carson famously started the debate on pesticide pollution in the United States in the early s; since then there has been a plethora of sustainable development research and activity on localized water quality in rivers, lakes and groundwater in developing countries around the world, often linked to the impacts of poor irrigation management or industrial pollution.
The creation in of the International Water Management Institute IWMI , which became part of the CGIAR in , was an important milestone that galvanized water research in this area, creating a vital research link between agriculture and irrigation management in particular.
Water storage : balancing the economic, environmental and human impacts caused by the creation of large dams and their reservoirs in specific locations in developing countries such as the Volta Dam in Ghana, the Aswan Dan in Egypt and the Sardar Sarova Dam in India, for example has proven a particular sustainable development challenge for water resource professionals - as these tend to be geographic hotspots where regional economic ambitions and local sustainable development issues intersect most passionately.
The World Commission on Dams, , shone a particular spotlight on this issue. With growing interest in scalable renewable energy and energy access for developing countries, large dams and their sustainable development issues continue to be a complicated issue for water resource professionals to address. Such problems helped to prompt the rise of Integrated Water Resource Management IWRM in the late as a policy tool; and the creation of the Global Water Partnership in as a practical partnership network to help policy makers in specific river basins in developing countries implement IWRM.
Regionally specific IWRM initiatives like the Mekong River Commission in and the Nile River Basin Initiative in have also emerged as location-specific institutional responses to such trans-boundary challenges. Water — scarcely considered a global challenge This means that, unlike other sustainable development issues such as energy access or climate-change for example, water resource scarcity has never really viewed - politically or economically - as a potential risk to global growth and sustainable development.
Water challenges have tended to be identified and addressed locally. If you take a global perspective, though, you see a different scale of challenges. New forms of energy generation can take 10x, or x as much water. It doesn't add up! About the author. Dominic Waughray. Geneva, Switzerland. Dominic Waughray Timeline for 'Local no longer: water resources and sustainable development'.