DUBAI, 20th February, 2018 (WAM) — The Dubai Land Department, DLD, in cooperation with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, and the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, have hosted the two-day Global Alliance for Building and Construction, GABC, Assembly, which concluded today in Dubai.
The first day of the assembly included an opening speech delivered by 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, Dr. 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 explained 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 percentof greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy, while also producing about 40 percent of waste and consuming 12 percent 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 emphasised that the UAE’s leadership directives 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.
“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 US in terms of numbers of buildings with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED, certifications,” the Minister added.
Al-Zeyoudi went on to say 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. It is also the first completely car-free city that features a number of organic farms.
Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director-General of DLD, said, “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.”
The GBAC assembly meetings were attended by more than 75 delegates representing over 50 member countries and many international organisations. It is an initiative resulting from the Paris Convention on Climate Change and the Convention, COP21, and it 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.