Leena Thomas, UTS Senior Lecturer, writes for U:UTS

India may be one of the world’s fastest growing economies, but that doesn’t mean its greenhouse gas emissions need to follow suit. Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture Leena Thomas explains how a collaborative research project involving UTS, India’s CEPT University and the University of Sydney is combining local knowledge with international research to create a unique thermal comfort model.

Over the last decade India has experienced an unprecedented rate of urbanisation with the building sector accounting for the largest share (47 per cent) of India’s final energy use between 1995 and 2005. Increased energy consumption has fuelled a 60 per cent increase in greenhouse gas emissions during the same period.

The mind-boggling projections for the future reiterate the energy intensive consequences of the built environment.

While Australia and other developed economies in the western world contend with a scenario where 80 per cent of the buildings that will be with us in 2050 have already been built, projections for India, by global management consulting firm McKinsey and Company suggest 70 to 80 per cent of the India of 2030 is yet to be built. And as that country shifts from 30 per cent (in 2008) to 40 per cent of its population living and working in urban areas by 2030, they forecast greenhouse gas emissions in Indian cities could increase to 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (up from 230 million tonnes in 2005, and more than two-and-a-half times Australia’s net emissions in 2007).

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This article appears in the May 12 Issue of U:UTS

Read the full article online here at the Newsroom website: http://newsroom.uts.edu.au/news/2012/05/climate-control