Six of Britain’s best-known skyscrapers produce more than 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, equal to the annual emissions of about 3,000 cars, analysis by The Times has found. The figures highlight the scale of the challenge for building owners to comply with the government’s commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Under the regime, due to become law via an amendment to the Climate Change Act of 2008, emissions from buildings will have to be completely avoided or offset by planting trees or using technology to extract CO2 from the atmosphere. Though skyscrapers are an efficient use of land in prime locations, where thousands of people can live and work close to transport links and without the need for a car, their use of cement and steel means that they emit thousands of tonnes of carbon during construction – and once built, they and their occupants consume large amounts of energy, presenting a new set of challenges for their landlords. The Times analysed energy performance certificates for some of Britain’s tallest buildings. Landlords are required to have the energy efficiency of their buildings assessed whenever a building is advertised for sale or let. The Shard, next to London Bridge railway station, emitted the most CO2, at 4,780 tonnes a year, although this was partly because of its larger scale. The 95-storey skyscraper in Southwark is the tallest building in both Britain and the European Union at 1,016ft high. Tower 42, the 600ft landmark in the City of London, built in 1980 and originally known as the Natwest Tower, was the least energy-efficient, emitting 49kg of CO2 per square metre.
Times 8th July 2019 read more »