Roads, pavements, houses, schools, factories, garden seats, lamp posts, flower pots, docks, lighthouses, runways, etc are just a few of the long list that all use cement as a part of the concrete to make the final product.

It means that concrete is the world’s second most used material, after water, and by 2050 we will need four times the amount that we used in 1990. However making it produces a remarkable amount of CO2.

Portland cement is made by heating limestone for up to ten hours at over 1,450 degrees C. It’s the basic ingredient of concrete and the manufacture of each tonne produces one and a quarter tonnes of CO2 for each of the annual figure of 4,200,000,000 so releasing over five billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s a good ten percent of all the annual CO2 increase.

If we are serious about reducing the way we are changing the climate then this is an area that needs revision, and we could start with some alternative materials, such as wood for housing. However it also means that we should consider changing some of our habits – such as where we live.

Unlike European cities the UK is still too keen on building new residential estates on the margins, well away from town centres so ignoring the possibility of converted flats in many of the empty shops and offices. The result is more roads, more driving and unnecessary emissions without a public transport alternative.

It certainly means that we should consider very carefully the implications of the proposed new Shipley bypass and tunnel. There will be all the CO2 from the concrete manufacture, the tunneling, the road and drainage construction as well as the emissions from all the machinery used – and all just to save five or 10 minutes or so.

It’s time to accept that we can’t build our way out of all perceived problems and that we must get used to the idea of changing our behaviour, particularly if we love our grandchildren and don’t want them to suffer.