Climate change COP21

Emirates Green Building Council commits to support UAE’s climate change goals at COP21 Paris

Written by EMS

Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) has made an ambitious commitment to support the UAE’s efforts to fight climate change through green buildings at COP21 in Paris.

EmiratesGBC has committed to work closely with the UAE’s government entities as a key partner in the development and implementation of sustainable building initiatives and support for regulations. It will also accelerate the adoption of best practices by sharing exemplar performance in sustainable buildings and acting as a focal point between industry, academia and government.

Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of EmiratesGBC, who attended COP21 as part of the UAE delegation, said: “As an independent forum promoting energy efficiency and green building practices, we pledge to support the UAE government strategies and goals for national development within the UAE Vision 2021, the ‘Green Growth Strategy’ and the UAE Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submission to COP21 to increase clean energy to 24 per cent of the total energy mix by 2021.”

Mr. Al Abbar also took part in a side event on ‘Research & Capacity Building in Energy Efficiency and Green Buildings: Euro-Mediterranean Initiatives’ and a panel discussion on ‘Conservations on needs and available solutions.’

EmiratesGBC has invited its corporate members and partners to make their ‘Climate Pledge’, which will take the form of targets and associated action plans. The Council will support their members in achieving these commitments through multiple platforms.

DSA Architects International, one of EmiratesGBC members, has already taken the pledge to “reducing our paper wastage by 40 per cent within our practice along with our partners and clients by 2021. This will take the form of relying on soft copy documentations and BIM, along with using recycled paper for presentation and print material when needed. We are also committed to developing and sharing knowledge to deliver a zero carbon built environment, while supporting and demonstrating the environmental and economic benefits of sustainable buildings and low carbon retrofitting to our clients.”

PeoPla Green Technologies has pledged to “supply the most sustainable and innovative technologies that will contribute towards meeting UAE 2021 vision targets of 24 per cent – clean energy contribution and 90 per cent – air quality Index. By 2020, we will educate 15,000 construction professionals and engineering students in sustainability and green building practices all over the UAE in alignment with our mission – to educate people today, to create a sustainable planet for tomorrow.’

CH2M has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 per cent by 2017 starting from a baseline year in 2012. Inspired by the creative ways its clients and partners are committed to creating a healthy and vibrant economy, society and environment for future generations, it will also establish a 5 per cent annual reduction commitment and urge other companies and organisations to join in.

Griffin Consultants has pledged to “dedicating one day per month over the next five years of pro bono time for educational initiatives and other industry efforts that tackle the climate change and energy reduction causes. We also commit to influencing our clients and customers to reduce the use of resources by demonstrating and proposing innovative and financially attractive solutions to sustainable design and construction.”

Al Abbar added: “We will serve our members by measuring and verifying their pledges to support the UAE INDC commitment. Ideally, their targets will be in line with a reporting framework that ensures accountability and enables measurement by EmiratesGBC and we will be able to support their pledges through our activities and programmes.”

A total of 20 Green Building Councils from around the world unveiled national commitments to transform the sustainability of their buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that the building and construction industry plays its part in limiting global warming to 2 degrees.

Buildings currently account for around one third of global emissions. But green building is one of the most cost-effective solutions to climate change, which generates significant environmental, economic and societal benefits.

The commitments were made at Buildings Day – the official COP21 meeting led by Ségolène Royal, the French Minister of Ecology and former presidential candidate.

Terri Wills, CEO of the World Green Building Council, said: “WorldGBC is delighted to see the leadership demonstrated by the Emirates Green Building Council in supporting their members with accountable and transparent climate pledges, as well as by making a firm commitment of their own to support the UAE’s ambitious INDC for the COP21 in Paris. As an initiating partner of the first ever Buildings Day at COP21, the WorldGBC network of Green Building Councils and its campaign are showing the world that not only had we better build green to combat climate change, but we are better off when we do.”

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