Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

background image
Part III - Chapter 12
There is also momentum in the adoption of local solutions, for example in the case of green roofs. Highlighted in previous editions of the GAR (UNISDR, 2011a

UNISDR. 2011a,Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Revealing Risk, Redefining Development, Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.. .
and 2013a), these roofs exemplify an approach to building design that: increases thermal performance, reducing energy consumption while providing more comfortable living and working conditions; reduces urban heat islands, improving air quality; provides additional green areas in cities; and at the same time regulates run-off during heavy rains, reducing flood risk.
The dynamism of the green roof industry is illustrated by the fact that in North America alone, approximately 20 million square feet (1.86 million square metres) of green roofs were installed in 2012, up from about 5 million square feet in 2005 (Figure 12.9). This is still a minute percentage of new roof area (Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, 2014

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. 2014,2013 Annual Green Roof Industry Survey, April 2014.. .
). But it does illustrate the kind of momentum that is now taking shape in the application of innovative approaches which provide social, economic and environmental benefits as well as disaster risk reduction co-benefits, and which are being driven from the bottom up by households, communities, businesses and local governments.
12.3 Breaching the boundaries
The pursuit of economic growth depends on an increasing and unsustainable overconsumption of energy, fresh water, forests and marine habitats, clean air and rich soil. The ecological footprint currently exceeds the planet’s biocapacity by around 50 per cent, and future projections— without a serious shift in thinking and practice— look even worse.
If current projections of economic growth and consumption continue, by the year 2030 the biocapacity of the planet will have been exceeded by around 200 per cent. In other words, two additional planets will be required to sustain consumption and absorb waste. As a meta-driver, this poses the risk of the ultimate kata-strophe.
The planetary boundary for CO2 emissions has been set at 350 ppm,7 but current levels are already close to 400 ppm and rising (Figure 12.10).
Annual global CO2 emissions rose by 54 per cent between 1990 and 2011 (IPCC, 2013

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). 2013,Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Full Report. Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley, eds. Camb. .
). Emissions
Figure 12.9 Estimated increase in green roof development in North America
Figure 12.10 Growth in emissions results in high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere
(Source: UNISDR with data from NOAA.8)
Previous page Previous Section  
Contact us  |  Disclaimer  |  Our Partners  |  References  |  Acknowledgements  |  PreventionWeb |  WCDRR  |  © United Nations 2015.