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Energy Key Findings – July/August 2011

Building Owners Expect Rise in Energy Prices
World Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Plastic Disclosure Project to Raise Awareness

Building Owners Expect Rise in Energy Prices

Some 80% of building owners expect double-digit energy price increases over the next year, which has prompted them to set an average energy reduction target of 12%, according to Johnson Controls annual global energy efficiency survey of almost 4,000 building owners and operators around the world. The most popular energy efficiency improvements include lighting and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and controls improvements.

The main motivation for energy efficiency projects was energy cost savings. Government incentives and enhanced public image came in second and third in the survey. Greenhouse gas reduction, which was the second highest motivator in 2010, ranked fourth in 2011.

Access to funding was the top barrier for conducting energy efficiency projects for respondents in the U.S./Canada (38%) and Europe (30%). Still, some 77% of U.S./Canada building owners are planning to include green building elements in their facility plans over the next 12 months.

World Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions reached their highest point ever in 2010, which the International Energy Agency says will making it “extremely challenging” to prevent the global temperature from rising to dangerous levels.

The IEA reported that 30.6 gigatons (Gt) of carbon dioxide were emitted in 2010, up 5% from 2008’s level of 29.3 Gt. The 2009 emissions had dropped to 29.0 Gt due to the recession.

About three-quarters of the 2009-2010 emissions increase was from developing countries, although they only accounted for 60% of global emissions last year. Some 44% of the estimated CO2 emissions in 2010 came from coal, 36% from oil, and 20% from natural gas.

The IEA says that for a two degree increase in global temperature to be averted, worldwide energy-related emissions in 2020 must not be greater than 32 Gt. This means that over the next 10 years, emissions must rise by less than they did between 2009 and 2010.

Plastic Disclosure Project to Raise Awareness

About 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year. Only about 10% of that is recycled. Of the plastic that is trashed each year, an estimated seven million tons ends up in the sea. There, it breaks down into smaller and smaller fragments over the years and is eventually swallowed by marine life. (One study found that fish in the North Pacific ingest as much as 24,000 tons of plastic debris per year).

Plastic is light, cheap and durable – it does not “go away.” Over one-half a century’s plastic is now out there. To prevent plastic from getting into the environment, companies around the world are being asked by the Plastic Disclosure Project to voluntarily assess their plastic use. This effort is expected to raise worldwide awareness of the problem and highlight potential savings to be had through changes in plastic production and consumption practices.



  • Some 81% of Democrats and 79% of independents favor increased federal funding for research on wind, solar, and hydrogen technology; a lot fewer of Republicans agree (59%)
  • Combined global revenue for biofuels hit $56.4 billion in 2010 and is expected to grow to $112.8 billion by 2020. In 2010, the biofuels market was made up of more than 27.2 billion gallons of ethanol and biodiesel production worldwide.

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