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Climate-Change Mitigation: Challenges and Opportunities in California’s Residential Building Sector


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Create Date November 8, 2018
Last Updated December 18, 2018
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How buildings are built and operated strongly affects atmospheric CO₂ levels and the associated threat of climate change. Today; global average fossil CO₂ emissions are approximately 3 kgC per person per day.

Nazaroff, W.W, and H. Levin, 2006.  Climate-Change Mitigation: Challenges and Opportunities in California's Residential Building Sector.  Healthy Buildings 2006, Lisbon, Portugal, June 4-8, 2006.

Stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels in the range 450-550 ppm would require that global emissions decline to 1-2 kgC per person per day by 2100. Californians currently emit about 10 kgC per person per day, with about 12% attributable to energy use in residential buildings. To achieve climate stabilization at 450-550 ppm CO2 with full international equity, California's per capita fossil C emissions would need to be reduced by 80-90% during this century. Achieving such large proportional reductions in residential buildings will likely require strong measures in conservation, improved energy efficiency, and greatly expanded use of energy sources that have low fossil-C emissions.