Martin Weissburg

Martin Weissburg

Volvo has officially launched its participation in the Construction Climate Challenge (CCC) at Bauma.

President of Volvo Construction Equipment, Martin Weissburg, said that Volvo will look to take a lead in the CCC and that at this stage of the initiative "action is very important".

The challenge facing the construction sector in terms of controlling emissions is immense. Over the past 20 years world energy consumption has doubled and continues to rise. World population is also increasing - at the rate of an 'additional Germany' every year!

According to the experts, if the world carries on as it is, we will see an increase in global temperatures of around 6°C. That would be catastrophic. The target is to limit that increase to a maximum of 2°C. However, in order to achieve that, emissions would need to be reduced by a 'mere' 84 Giga tonnes.

This was one of the agreements at the recent L'Appel de Paris climate summit where it was also agreed, quite remarkably, that countries will be held individually responsible for their carbon emissions on a five-year 'weigh-in' style control system. There is also a suggestion that this name and shame type of control might also be extended to the world's biggest companies - but that has not been confirmed.

As far as the construction industry itself is concerned it is estimated that the sector's emissions are on a par with those of the automotive sector. The figures, however, include emissions from the energy-hungry construction materials sector. It is estimated that the production of concrete and steel alone accounts for more than half of all 'construction' emissions. And, with world currently consuming around eight billion cubic metres of concrete a year, it is easy to see why emissions are so high.

For its part, it is estimated that construction machinery accounts for less than a quarter of construction-related emissions. But the figure is still huge and it is one that the CCC, Volvo and other members of the alliance, take very seriously indeed.

At the CCC meeting at Bauma Volvo explained that it was looking at many ways in which to tackle the emissions issue. Adventurous targets include zero emissions, zero accidents and zero downtime and a ten-times increase in efficiency. Challenging targets indeed!

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