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Global Snapshot: Carbon Emissions Stabilize, but Action Still Needed

March 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

By Linda Seggelke

For the third year in a row, global carbon emissions from the energy sector were flat, according to the International Energy Agency. What’s impressive is that this plateau in emissions comes at a time of economic growth around the world, suggesting that improved energy efficiency, renewable energy production and other factors are driving a decoupling of economic activity and carbon emissions.

However, the current level of energy-related investments needs to double to avoid raising the global average temperature by two degrees Celsius. That benchmark—two degrees Celsius—would still have a substantive effect on climate change, but is a goal preferable to allowing temperatures to climb without restraint. A separate report conducted by the IEA and International Renewable Energy Agency concludes that to avoid that temperature rise, emissions need to peak by 2020 and plummet from current levels by 2050.
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Can Concrete Be Sustainable?

June 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

concrete_1Concrete, industry proponents will tell you, is one of the most sustainable building materials on the market. It is incredibly durable, made from abundant materials, has a low thermal transmittance and it is recyclable. All of these are true. Unfortunately, it is also an enormous source of carbon dioxide emissions.

Cement, to be precise, is the real culprit. Portland cement typically composes a little more than 10% of concrete’s volume, but 90% of its carbon footprint. Given how ubiquitous concrete is as a building material, something needs to be done to lower these emissions.
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