Climate Change Mitigation through the Bamboo

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The world’s largest bamboo producing areas accounting for 80% of the total global production, are in Asia Pacific – China, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam.

According to the UN, the region is identified as the face of climate change and the world’s most-disaster prone region. Despite being admired for its rapid economic growth, the region still hosts the largest number of poor people worldwide.

Climate change is one of the threats facing the region. Natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, drought cost billions in livelihood and GDP losses which can undermine their economic growth and progress.

In its report, the World Green Building Council outlines the benefits when the Asia Pacific tackles its “embodied carbon” in its built environment and calls for the regions to aspire a net-zero emission by 2050.  

The report calls for the construction sector to embrace a whole lifecycle approach to carbon emissions which address two type of emissions – those released during operations (energy to heat, cool and power buildings) and from manufacturing, transportation, maintenance, and construction or “embodied carbon”. 

According to the report, these emissions contribute to 11% of all global energy-related carbon emissions and 28% of the building sector emissions.

To help reduce “embodied carbon” and the building sector’s emissions, the Project Drawdown project endorses a solution found in the Bamboo’s carbon sequestration capacity and as a low-carbon construction material.

According to the project, growing Bamboo can rapidly capture CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in biomass and the soil. As a construction material, Bamboo has the “comprehensive strength of concrete and the tensile strength of steel.”

Bamboo grows in a wide range of environmental conditions and thrives on degraded lands. Following harvest in its mature state – after four to eight years, it resprouts and grows again, faster than trees.

Regarding the Bamboo’s CO2 sequestration capacity, the project calculates that it can sequester an annual rate of 2 tons of carbon per hectare both in living biomass and long-lived bamboo products, a total of 8.3 to 21.3 gigatons of CO2 sequestered by 2050. They also find that Bamboo can be a profitable long-term investment.

When used as a substitute for carbon-intensive materials like concrete, steel, aluminium, it can significantly avoid emissions.

To know more about the benefits of growing and using Bamboo as a low-carbon construction material and how it can mitigate climate change, click the links below:

Source Citation:

Bamboo Resources. (2021). Bothbest Bamboo Flooring. Retrieved from https://www.bambooindustry.com/blog/bamboo-resources.html

New World GBC report outlines how the Asia Pacific can build back better by tackling embodied carbon in built environment. (2020, September 24). Retrieved from https://gresb.com/new-worldgbc-report-how-asia-pacific-can-build-back-better-by-tackling-embodied-carbon/

Bamboo Production. (2021). Project Drawdown. Retrieved from https://drawdown.org/solutions/bamboo-production

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