Most if not all of our construction sustainability / carbon strategies,standards and targets are based on preventing an increase in global warming temperatures beyond 2 deg C. That may well have to change, with harsher, tougher targets becoming essential.
As reported in Science Daily, the 2 deg target is increasingly under pressure as being ‘utterly inadequate’ for protecting those at most risk from climate change, with targets of 1.5 or even 0.8 being proposed. The long-term goal to stay below 2°C warming is currently undergoing a 2013-15 Review, the results of which are expected this June and could be adopted in Paris at COP21 in December 2015.
It may well be that our slowness in moving forward with carbon reductions over the last decade or so is now catching up and that the effort to cap carbon and or temperature rises will become more and more difficult.
In construction we have seen site based carbons increase, and whilst there maybe a decrease in construction transport emissions, that can be attributed to efficiencies in vehicle efficiency. Globally we are increasingly procuring materials and services farther and farther away from contracts.