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Engineers have the power to save the planet

News - Civils 2006

LIFE ON Earth will cease by 2100 unless engineers get to grips with designing to prevent climate change, a sustainability expert speaking at Civils 2006 warned this week.

Merton Borough Council energy and sustainability manager Adrian Hewitt warned delegates that the tipping point for climate change comes in 2062 when the CO 2 level in the atmosphere reaches 550 parts per million. By 2100, he argued, life will end.

But, he said, it is not too late to act. By grasping more efficient forms of design and using environmentally friendly power sources the level of emissions will fall. However, it will need a global effort as the UK only accounts for 2% of world emissions.

Hewitt told delegates that designing energy-efficient buildings with power generating devices providing 20% of energy requirements will not only save the planet, but also aid in getting planning permission.

Government plans are in place to force new structures to improve energy efficiency by 2008. However, Hewitt and London Climate Change Agency senior energy efficiency officer Tatiana Bosteels believe there will be huge advantages to companies that get involved earlier.

Bosteels said that London's renewable energy and efficiency energy market will grow to £3.5bn a year.

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