The UAE is on a firm footing to achieve the commitment to net-zero carbon buildings, backed by its comprehensive approach to green buildings and sustainable development, said Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council, EmiratesGBC, at the Global Alliance for Buildings & Construction panel at the 3rd Arab Ministerial Forum on Housing and Urban Development.
In his keynote address, followed by a panel discussion moderated by him, Al Abbar said the UAE is among the first national governments to have announced its commitment to the “Zero Carbon Buildings for All” initiative, a multi-partner global initiative led by the World Resources Institute and endorsed by the UN Secretary-General.
“The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment challenges companies, cities, states and regions to reach net-zero operating emissions in their portfolio by 2030 and to advocate for all buildings to be net-zero by 2050. Here, in the UAE, we have the national-level commitment to achieve this goal, with the UAE signing the ‘Zero Carbon Buildings for All Initiative’ in New York last month,” added Al Abbar.
He said it is important to follow the five-step strategy, Commit, Disclose, Act, Verify and Advocate, to achieve the commitment on net-zero carbon buildings. “Measuring and disclosing annual asset and portfolio emissions, implementing a decarbonisation roadmap towards energy efficiency and renewable energy, verifying the progress towards net-zero carbon assets, and acting as a catalyst for further action are the needs of the hour, in what is being termed the ‘Climate Decade’. Working together, we can achieve the goal,” he explained.
Al Abbar said there are two pathways to achieve net-zero emissions at the national or city level, the policy pathway, which calls for enacting regulations and planning policy at an authority level, and the municipal building pathway, which commits to owning, occupying and developing only assets that are net-zero carbon in operation by 2030.
He enumerated the various policy measures adopted by the UAE, including its Clean Energy Strategy 2050, as well as the Green Building Regulations, already enforced in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah as strong catalysts for net-zero carbon buildings.
He remarked that cities are leading the shift to net-zero carbon buildings and will, therefore, play a major role in achieving the goal of a decarbonised world.