Climate change: adaptation and mitigation
Climate change is often referred to as one of the most significant challenges facing the planet. The evidence for human impact on the climate is unequivocal. We are already seeing the effects of a changing climate through more frequent and extreme heatwaves, severe flooding, changing rainfall patterns and extreme events. With the building and construction sector responsible for around 30% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, it is both a major contributor and highly exposed to changes in climate.
Built environment professionals need an understanding of the risks and opportunities that developments may be exposed to and when. This includes understanding what is required in terms of mitigating against and adapting to future climatic changes. Associated benefits would include reducing the risks to business continuity and decreasing exposure to extreme weather damage, among others. In addition, with the advent of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), businesses are increasingly being challenged by investors to understand not only their exposure to climate change, but also how they integrate climate risk management throughout their business models.
This section also examines the issue in terms of relevant legislative and policy drivers, and assesses the implications for existing building stock. A brief, high-level overview of the themes and their implications is given in the summary.