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2007 News Releases



London’s deputy mayor meets with CEE faculty

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London’s Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron met with MIT faculty, including half a dozen members of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Aug. 24 to discuss ways of reducing that city’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Gavron has responsibility for enacting the mayor’s Climate Change Action Plan, which calls for a 60 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions across metropolitan London’s energy, water, waste and transport sectors by 2050.

According to the Greater London Authority, as of 2006, the metropolitan area generates 42 million tons of carbon emissions or 7 percent of the UK’s total. Housing is responsible for 44 percent of this; 28 percent is from commercial premises, 21 percent from transportation, and 7 percent from industry. The London Sustainable Development Commission has calculated that for housing to meet its target, all new developments would have to be constructed to be carbon-neutral with immediate effect (using zero energy building techniques), in addition to cutting energy used in existing housing by 40 percent.

Gavron met with CEE’s Dara Entekhabi, whose energy research interests include environmental sensing and modeling; John Attanucci, Fred Salvucci and Nigel Wilson, who presently work with London on transport issues; department head Patrick Jaillet; and Franz Ulm, whose research interests include development of a greener concrete.

Other CEE energy-related research includes the study of the ocean and its microbes, which process airborne carbon dioxide and release oxygen; the sequestration of carbon dioxide underground; and wells equipped with feedback control to monitor the injection and release of brine.