EmiratesGBC: Region should commit to net zero buildings to reach Paris targets

Majid Al Futtaim among the first to sign up to Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) has issued a statement urging UAE businesses, entities and cities formally “endorse and sign” the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment was created by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) and sets targets for the construction and property development sectors to eliminate operational carbon emissions from buildings by 2030 as part of a strategy to ensure all buildings are Net Zero in operation by 2050.

The targets are intended to aid countries in meeting the Paris Agreement goals of minimising global warming to 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Saeed Al Abbar, chairman, Emirates Green Building Council, said that there will be not be sufficient time to reach the Paris Agreements, “if we delay action.”

“We need to achieve tangible results and the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment is a unique opportunity to ambitiously work toward reducing energy demand and controlling carbon emissions,” said Al Abbar. “This calls for the concerted efforts of all – governments, businesses, civil society organisations and the public at large – to achieve the significant milestone that will be our true investment in the future for our upcoming generations. “

According to EmiratesGBC, almost 40% of energy related greenhouse emissions globally come from buildings, with 28% coming from the operations of buildings.

In order to ensure tangible results, signatories to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment are required to track, verify and report publicly on building performance metrics with a focus on energy use and associated emissions. To achieve Net Zero, suppliers and partners across the supply chain are also expected to participate.

EmiratesGBC has recently established the Net Zero Centre of Excellence think tank and accelerator, to provide a platform for government, academia and the private sector to learn and share knowledge on how to advance net zero carbon buildings in the UAE.

Al Abbar revealed that three organisations have already signed up to the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, including UAE retail, leisure and developer giant Majid Al Futtaim.

“I am very proud that Majid Al Futtaim, who are active Board Members of EmiratesGBC, are among the first three organisations globally to sign up the commitment, thus demonstrating the UAE’s global leadership in sustainable development.  I encourage the private sector to follow this lead and position their organisations as global leaders in sustainability.”

Net Zero will be a central theme of EmiratesGBC’s seventh annual Congress in October. The event is being held under the theme .Targeting Zero: A Vision for Future Cities.

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