The role that buildings have to play in climate change rarely gets the same level of attention as issues such as energy production or transport, but they are a significant part of the problem. The UN estimates that, in 2019, emissions from buildings hit an all-time high, accounting for more than a third of all energy-related greenhouse gases.
However, widely available technology, and tried-and-tested building techniques, can drastically cut the amount of energy required to heat and cool buildings – by up to 90 per cent – at a reasonable cost.
In New York, home to UN Headquarters, these techniques are now being put into practice, and older buildings are being “retrofitted” with the latest materials, for the benefit of residents, and the environment.
Conor Lennon went to visit some New York projects that could help the City and State to achieve its strict and ambitious climate goals.