Be responsible for the future

It wasn't until the 1980s that the impact of greenhouse gases on the environment started to be taken seriously.

COMMENT, Business

Although the role of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere was first discovered during the 1800s, it wasn't until the 1980s that their impact on the environment started to be taken seriously.

The decade is one that tends to get the blame for all things gone wrong, and it's not just about bad hair or shoulder pads.

It was the time in which big business started to thrive and transcend global barriers, leaving behind a trail of destruction for the environment in the quest for big bucks.

As droughts and heatwaves became a more prominent feature in the world, a public awareness campaign began in earnest, by enhancing consumer consciousness about ozone depletion through the use of CFCs in various industrial and household appliances.

Most of us played our part by using roll-on deodorant, while those with more time on their hands developed the eco-warrior subculture and lived in tree houses.

Almost 30 years on, and the issue of climate change is not just an excuse for eco-warriors to have a go.

Only this week, scientists warned in a publication by the UK's Royal Society that ‘recent greenhouse gas emissions place the earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures'.

Scientists say that the world has just 10 years to prepare for the inevitable - exactly the period of time in which most of the projects in this region are expected to be finished.

Among the worst offenders of harmful gas emissions is the incandescent light bulb. It also wastes a huge amount of energy. European light-bulb manufacturers recently said they want to phase out the bulb over the next eight years, replacing it with more eco-friendly, energy efficient lamps.

Similar moves are being made in Australia, Canada and India. The Emirates Energy Awards is a sign that the UAE is also taking action.

Facing up to what will happen in 10 years time might be an inconvenient expense for the construction industry right now. Being recognised for promoting energy efficient and sustainable building will hopefully be its vehicle for change.

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Construction Week - Issue 767
Sep 01, 2020