By Kadeem Joseph
On Monday, the world took a pause to observe World Habitat Day, celebrated under the theme ‘Accelerating Urban Action for a Carbon-free World’ and, WELL AP certified architect and green design specialist, Colin John Jenkins, is suggesting how Antigua and Barbuda can do just that.
According to UN Habitat, cities are responsible for some 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions with transport, buildings, energy, and waste management accounting for the bulk of urban greenhouse gas emissions. The future of our planet depends on national, regional and local governments and organisations, communities, academic institutions, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders working together to create sustainable, carbon-neutral, inclusive cities and towns.
In his analysis of how Antigua and Barbuda can reduce carbon emissions, Jenkins sees the issue of transportation, especially within the city as an area in need of attention.
“When you think about transportation, one can appreciate how difficult that is in terms of the amount of vehicles in St John’s city; something as simple as finding parking, how many times you would have to go around the block to do so,” he explained. “What we may fail to realise is that every time we drive going around the block that’s more carbon emissions going into the atmosphere.”
He added that if one considers similar issues in other small island developing states, and even larger countries, it is easy to see how quickly carbon emissions are increased.
The green design specialist said that to this end, improving efficiency becomes a major aspect of improving atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.
“Efficiency is a great response to reducing carbon emissions in respect to transportation, how we deal with parking, having a great community transportation system,” he added.
He shared that looking at the use of bicycles as a form of transportation is also an option worth exploring; where bathroom facilities, lockers and parking stations can be made available in order to promote healthier lifestyles and reduce carbon dioxide levels.
Jenkins explained that there are “gaps” in the countries present transportation system that can be properly identified through mechanisms that are already in use around the world.