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Title: Global challenges, geosynthetic solutions and counting carbon
Authors: Dixon, Neil
Fowmes, Gary John
Frost, Matthew W.
Keywords: Geosynthetics
Global challenges
Development goals
Climate change
Sustainability
Carbon footprint
Life cycle analysis
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © Thomas Telford (ICE Publishing)
Citation: DIXON, N., FOWMES, G. and FROST, M.W., 2017. Global challenges, geosynthetic solutions and counting carbon. Geosynthetics International, 24 (5), pp. 451-464.
Abstract: The earth is experiencing unprecedented change driven by increasing population, industrialisation and urbanisation. This is leading to rapid climate change and scarcity of resources. There is growing agreement globally of the need to deliver sustainable development to improve the lives of millions of people in low and middle income countries through provision of clean water, sanitation, energy and transport solutions. The response of the international community to this challenge is via the United Nations programme (published in January 2016), which establishes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including response to climate change. These SDG will guide decisions taken by nations and organisations over the next 15 years. This paper is the written version of the opening keynote lecture delivered to the 3rd Pan American Conference on Geosynthetics in Miami Beach, USA, in April 2016; it considers the role that geosynthetics can make in achieving the SDG. Scientific evidence for climate change is presented and the value and uncertainty in available climate change information is discussed to inform its use in design. International agreements on reducing greenhouse gas emissions are based on country specific action plans for mitigation and adaptation against climate change, and the potential for geosynthetics to help achieve these targets is identified. Finally, approaches for calculating embodied carbon for solutions incorporating geosynthetics are introduced and case studies that provide evidence for the ‘sustainability’ case for geosynthetics are summarised. The geosynthetics community is challenged to play a leading role in helping to deliver the SDG and hence a better future for populations world-wide.
Description: This paper is closed access until 23 May 2018.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1680/jgein.17.00014
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/24756
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1680/jgein.17.00014
ISSN: 1072-6349
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)

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