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Expert at COP26 explains how bamboo can help tackle climate crisis


Glasgow: Experts say that bamboo and timber are a way to reduce carbon emissions because the construction industry has a large environmental footprint, especially in developing countries like India.

Steel and cement manufacturing are each estimated to produce around 8% (i.e. Around 16 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions comes from steel and cement manufacturing. These materials must be replaced by substitutes.

The construction industry has a large environmental footprint. According to some sources, it is responsible for around 40% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. This includes the construction of buildings and the infrastructure and operation of buildings, according to David Trujillo, an assistant professor at Coventry University’s School of Energy, Construction and Environment.

He spoke with IANS about the structural benefits of bamboo and how it could be used in construction to help combat climate change.

“In developing nations such as India, where there would be a lot of construction over the next 50 year, this is likely will be very significant. He stated that substitutes for steel or cement materials must be found.

“Buildings made of reinforced concrete or concrete blocks are very common in developing countries. This is also true for India, I believe. We must change how we build.”

He responded to the question of why bamboo is important. He said that timber and bamboo can be used to reduce carbon emissions because they require very little energy to transform them into useful materials.

Second, if grown and harvested responsibly, they can act as carbon sinks.

“But, in most developing nations, there are few commercially viable forests that can be harvested, so we must avoid exploitation of primary forests. If we planted timber forests now, it would take at most 25-50 years before they could be harvested.

“We can’t wait that long. Many developing countries in tropics, subtropics, and Asia have abundant bamboo resources. This includes India. It is a resource that can be exploited.

“And if they don’t have them, it will only be about 10 years to go from greenfield to high-producing forest. IANS was told by a researcher from Coventry University that bamboo forests are easy and more productive if they are regularly harvested.

He was in Glasgow to give a presentation on bamboo and its role in the future of construction at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26)

He asked about the size of bamboo that could be planted.

“Another important benefit is that bamboo seems to be more productive per hectare than timber and sinks more carbon.

He spoke out about the social benefits of bamboo construction.

“Firstly, it creates a continuous and additional source of income for rural communities. Bamboo exploitation, unlike mining, is not capital intensive and concentrated. It can be spread across the country, unlike mining.

“There are many opportunities to create new industries associated it: preservation and transformation, etc. Bamboo housing has a great track record in disaster resistance (earthquakes or typhoons), low cost and high levels thermal comfort.

“It is anticipated that construction of multi-story engineered Bamboo frames (for the moment only a potential and non-current technology) would have similar advantages to modern timber structures: improved working environments, less air pollution during construction, better working conditions, etc.”

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