The Institute of Public Works Engineering Austrasia (IPWEA) has published an article that highlights the massive amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in the past 100 years through intensive mining and use of fossil fuels.
The article says that the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have been highest since 800 thousand years ago, and high concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere is trapping solar heat in the earth’s surface causing climate change. The effects of climate change have been well documented especially its increasing impacts on infrastructure, the article says.
Countries have come together in climate accords like the 2015 Paris Agreement in commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emission and to limit global warming. The latest is the Climate Ambition Alliance in June 2020 where 120 countries have pledged to carbon neutrality by 2050, the article says.
When it comes to the number of carbon emissions per sector, the World Bank states that 70 per cent of GHG is from the infrastructure constructions and operations. In Australia, infrastructure is also the most significant contributor to the nation’s GHG, according to the Australian Infrastructure Audit in 2019.
There is “an urgent need for new ways to manage the planning, construction, maintenance and renewal of infrastructure assets to increase their climate resilience and achieve carbon neutrality,” the article says.
What this means is that asset managers need to include low carbon options, and carbon neutrality in the renewal, upgrading, and maintenance plans.
The IPWEA is developing a new Practice Note after the Practice Note 12.1 that would help asset managers identify climate resilience options and low carbon materials for use in infrastructure construction, maintenance, and to lengthen the asset’s life.
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