Will the UAE reach its net-zero carbon buildings goal by 2030?

Chairman of Emirates GBC, Saeed Al Abbar, highlights five-step process for the UAE to meet its net-zero building goals

The UAE looks to reach its net-zero carbon buildings targets by 2030 [representational image].
The UAE looks to reach its net-zero carbon buildings targets by 2030 [representational image].

During the third Arab Ministerial Forum on Housing and Urban Development, chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC), Saeed Al Abbar said that the UAE – boosted by its green building approach and push towards sustainable development – is on a firm footing to reach its net-zero carbon buildings targets.

The construction industry is responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions. New buildings in the UAE should meet net-zero carbon structures by 2030, and existing buildings should reach that level by 2050.

According to UAE's state-held news agency, Wam, Al Abbar addressed the ministerial forum during a keynote and a panel discussion, and focused on the importance of following a five-step strategy: Commit, Disclose, Act, Verify, and Advocate, to achieve the commitment on net-zero carbon buildings.

Al Abbar added: "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’.”

In his keynote address, followed by a panel discussion moderated by him, Al Abbar said that 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.

According to Wam, Al Abbar highlighted two pathways to achieve net-zero emissions at the national or city level, including 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.

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