Greater Cleveland Housing & Climate Change
Housing= 24% CO2 Emissions
Existing housing, most of which will still be lived-in 50 years from now, accounts for 24% of carbon dioxide emissions in Greater Cleveland (2005), comparable to the contribution from industry (27%) and transportation (33%). Energy use for a typical Cleveland house produces more than 10 tons of CO2 annually. Most of that is from natural gas and other fuels for home heating.
Current Weatherization Strategy Won’t Achieve the Needed CO2 Reductions
Current approaches to home weatherization strive to cut energy use by 20%-50%, which sets the bar too low. To meet the steep CO2 reductions essential to combat global warming (an 80% reduction by 2050), more dramatic home energy conservation and efficiency must and can be achieved. A better alternative to common home weatherization techniques is deep energy retrofitting. Housing rehabilitation experts and building scientists have developed this super-insulating method to achieve deep energy reductions of 70%-90% in homes, dramatically lowering their carbon dioxide contribution.
The CO2 Reduction and Sustainability Strategy for Housing
To reduce CO2 from the housing sector we need an aggressive strategy:
- Set higher performance standards for new housing construction.
- Add to broadly-applicable weatherization techniques to achieve greater energy savings.
- Where feasible, strive for deep energy reductions in home renovation.
- Take advantage of opportunity points to improve performance and put the home on a deep energy reduction path.
- Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health (2011) Board on Population Health and Public Practice, The National Academies Press
- Climate Change Impacts Indoor Enviornment (2011) Environmental Health Perspectives