New UN Report Reiterates the Dangerous Potential of Climate Change

October 19, 2018 | Brent Trenga, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP | Kingspan Insulated Panels

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Man-made global warming has become an undeniable problem in the world. A report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of our children and much of the global population. The IPCC has identified that we are .5°C away from a global temperature of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and the planet cannot cross this number without seeing the worst effects of climate change.
 
Temperatures have already risen 1°C above pre-industrial levels and currently show no signs of slowing down. If we do not take action soon and continue emitting greenhouse gases at our current rate, we could reach the 1.5°C threshold as early as 2030. In order for temperatures to cease rising more than 1.5°C, the global net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall 45% from 2010 levels by 2030. Humans would either need to curb the amount of carbon dioxide emissions so that we either pull more carbon out of the atmosphere than we release, or stop emitting all together and reach “net zero” by 2050.
 
The UN report presented a number of solutions to help keep temperatures down, including increasing energy efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy, electrifying transportation, reforesting regions, and using carbon capture technology to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. We need to be using renewable energy for at least 70% of global electricity by 2050 to keep temperatures on target.
 
Unfortunately, we are currently not on track to stop temperatures from reaching 1.5°C by 2030, which is just 12 years away. Climate change is already happening, and it’s scary thinking what else may happen in the next 12 years unless urgent action is taken.
 
Kingspan understands its impact on the environment, both in terms of the role its products play in optimizing energy efficiency, and the responsibility the company has to operate as sustainably as possible throughout its practices and supply chain.
 
Kingspan’s products hold a number of certifications that focus on improving environmental impact, occupant health, and more. In fact, we recently introduced QuadCore technology, which has a 30-year thermal warranty, unrivaled thermal performance, superior protection and unmatched health and wellness certification.
 
Kingspan has also joined multiple initiatives regarding climate and environmental impact. Kingspan is a founding member of the International Living Future Institute’s Paris Solutions Campaign, a group of organizations that shares aggressive climate goals in alignment with the 2015 Paris Agreement.
 
In addition, Kingspan Group has joined some of the world’s leading global companies in a commitment to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to reduce our Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2025, off the base year of 2017.
 
In 2017, 69% of the total energy used by Kingspan’s operations came from renewable sources, to date we are on track to reach our internal target of 78% for 2018. Kingspan Group is on target to achieve its goal of Net Zero Energy (NZE) status by 2020 across is 120+ plants around the globe. As part of its journey to achieve NZE status, Kingspan Group has seen a 77% reduction in carbon intensity across its operations and is benefitting from 34.5 GWh of energy generated on its own sites
 
The shocking results from this report show that it’s crucial for everyone to speed up their efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change and is a great example of why Kingspan continues to be dedicated to sustainability.