Al Zeyoudi inaugurates the Global Alliance for Building and Construction Assembly

Hosted by Dubai Land Department and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

  • Al Zeyoudi: The UAE ranked among the top 10 countries for ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’
  • Bin Mejren: It is a great honour for us to host the event in the UAE as it highlights our leadership in this field

Dubai Land Department (DLD), in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), hosted the Global Alliance for Building and Construction (GABC) Assembly on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th February 2018.

The first day of the assembly included an opening speech delivered by His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, in addition to several panel discussions covering important topics such as challenges and opportunities in the area of real estate sustainability in the MENA region. Participating countries presented their successful experiences in this field to disseminate and share knowledge, and promote investment in real estate sustainability as an important part of the green economy.

In his opening speech, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said: “Hosting the GABC Assembly confirms the UAE’s global position and leading role in adopting and disseminating solutions to help achieve the concept of sustainability across all sectors.”

He pointed out that in line with the UAE 2021 vision, achieving environmental leadership for sustainable development requires raising the efficiency and effectiveness of all sectors, especially the construction sector. According to global statistics, the construction sector accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy, while also producing about 40% of waste and consuming 12% of water resources.

He added: “These facts are of particular importance in the UAE given the past four decades of unprecedented urban and cultural development, as well as the growth in the population by two to three times. In light of this progress, there is an urgent need to follow more sustainable methods in the building and construction sector.”

He stressed that the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership have led to the adoption of a number of important sustainability measures over recent years, including the development of long-term national strategies such as the National Plan for Climate Change 2017-2050 and the Green Agenda 2030 to ensure the country is moving toward green growth.

He added: “Laws and regulations for green buildings, specific standards for machinery and a tariff system have been established to ensure the effective use of electricity and water. As a result, the UAE now ranks

among the top 10 countries other than the United States of America in terms of numbers of buildings with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications.”

He explained that as part of its ‘Shaping the Future’strategy, the UAE has begun to establish sustainable cities such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, which include specialised research and development facilities, sophisticated business environments, residential complexes equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and modern and traditional architectural designs, while relying on renewable energy resources. The Sustainable City in Dubai is another example of a self-contained complex that produces its own solar energy to power homes, offices and other facilities, while further cutting energy consumption with energy-saving devices. The Sustainable City is also the first completely car-free city that features a number of organic farms.

His Excellency Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of DLD, commented: “It is a great honour for DLD to have the opportunity to host this important meeting. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all partners who supported us in preparing for this event, in particular MOCCAE, as well as the generous support of the private sector.”

Bin Mejren added: “This event helps us to position Dubai and the UAE as leading destinations for organising and hosting prestigious international events and initiatives. It also provided us with a platform to highlight our real estate sustainability standards and promote real estate investment in Dubai and the UAE as part of our continued commitment to achieving leadership in this area and providing a world-class experience. The event was a successful way to promote real estate sustainability and strengthen our partnerships with all stakeholders to achieve sustainable development.”

The GBAC assembly meetings were attended by more than 75 delegates representing over 50 member countries and many international organisations such as the International Energy Agency, the World Green Building Council and the UNEP.

Dubai was chosen to host the meeting following a vote held between the member states during the climate change meeting in Germany, which took place in November 2017. Other host countries in the running were China and Germany.

The Global Alliance for Building and Construction is an initiative resulting from the Paris Convention on Climate Change and the Convention (COP21). DLD, with the support of MOCCAE, represents the real estate sector and sustainability in this international alliance, which is aimed at reducing carbon emissions from the building, construction and real estate sectors.

The Global Alliance for Building and Construction is a voluntary partnership between national and local governments, intergovernmental organisations, corporations, associations and networks to commit to a shared vision of emissions elimination in the construction sector, while ensuring the efficiency and flexibility of buildings. The Alliance acts as an umbrella or platform that brings together initiatives and active entities focused on buildings and the construction sector.

The network has more than 100 partners and focuses on accelerating and supporting climate action through members of the Council, both individually and collectively, to mitigate emissions in this sector and realise a variety of other objectives including health and housing efficiency.

As a platform or umbrella for other initiatives, the Alliance provides a common vision through agreed and organised areas of action that deal with key barriers including lack of awareness, political will and institutional capacity. Alliance members participate in areas including the value chain for the building and construction sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency.

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