10th EmiratesGBC Annual Congress discusses the road to Net Zero by 2050 with a focus on circular and healthy cities

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Sheikha Shamma inaugurates the Annual Emirates Green Building Council Congress, held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

  • Annual event highlights 15 years of achievements of the EmiratesGBC and underlined the need to take collective action to promote sustainable in the built environment 

Dubai, UAE: Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Honorary President of Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) and CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability (AGS),  today inaugurated the Annual EmiratesGBC Congress, held under the theme ‘15 years of EmiratesGBC: From Green Buildings towards Sustainable Cities 2030.’

The Congress, which brought together industry stakeholders from across the world, underlined the need for collective action to support the UAE’s Net Zero target by 2050 Strategic Initiative, and discussed wide-ranging measures to promote the circular economy to enable building healthy and sustainable cities. Held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment, at Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre, the Congress discussed the latest innovations for driving sustainability in the built environment  and promoted discussion between industry and government stakeholders.

Addressing the delegates, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Honorary President, EmiratesGBC, said: “The cost-effectiveness of energy-efficient buildings is something that cannot be ignored. The construction sector is one of the world’s largest producers of waste, yet it still lags behind when it comes to recycling and upcycling. Our buildings and our consumption should not compromise our health and those of future generations. The UAE’s bid for COP28 in 2023 and the ‘UAE Net Zero target by 2050’ Strategic Initiative showcase the commitment to sustainability. It is the next step in the sustainable growth of the nation, which will develop new industries, create new jobs, and spur innovation, creating a better world for future generations. I am confident that the insights we will hear from the esteemed speakers over the next two days will be valuable in helping us drive forward the transformation of our cities into ones that are more sustainable.”

H.E. Ali Al Jassim, Chairman, EmiratesGBC, added: “The goal of this Congress is to raise further awareness of green building principles and to share experiences and learn from each other. We will discuss themes ranging from circularity to healthy cities, resilient cities, the impact of embodied carbon, and how we can further promote inclusivity and women participation in building sustainable cities. This is also our 10th landmark edition, and we will also take stock of our achievements, current field of work and future strategies. As the nation strengthens its reserve to combat climate change, cut greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter by 2030, and achieve the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, our goal is to support the nation in achieving its strategic priorities for a sustainable future.”

Ibrahim Al Zubi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Majid Al Futtaim; Amer Bin Ahmed, Managing Director, Knauf Middle East; and David Gatward, Chief – Engineering & Technical Services, Engineering & Technical Services, AD Ports Group, delivered the welcome address.

Saeed Al Abbar, CEO of AESG, moderated a panel discussion on 15 years of EmiratesGBC to reflect on the Green Building Movement in the UAE, which was followed by a ‘Green Building Showcase’ that presented success stories of green buildings in the UAE.

Complementing the UAE’s vision to promote energy transition, one of the key panel discussions on ‘Towards 2030: UAE policy & the roadmap for Sustainable Cities,’ discussed the green building regulations and policies in place today and how it will support the sector to reach net zero targets and create resilient healthy sustainable cities.

Dr. Ali Amiri, Head of Specialisms at Ramboll, presented a case study on ‘embodied carbon – impact reduction’ and while an industry trends spotlight highlighted the audited global warming potential data in concrete reinforcement bars. The session was followed by industry trends presentations, which was addressed by Ayhan Tugrul, General Manager, Executive Board Member, CARES; Ahmed Morsi, KNAUF Aquapanel Regional Manager; Dorian Bomble, Head of Specification UAE, Saint-Gobain; and David Gatward, Chief – Engineering & Technical Services, Engineering & Technical Services, AD Ports Group.

Dr. Anas Bataw (Heriott Watt University) delivered a presentation on ‘Fostering Innovation and Collaboration between Academia and the Private Sector’ while an interactive session on ‘Building Sustainable Cities 2030’ used live survey polling and small group discussions to gain audience input on the most pressing areas for innovation and action in the UAE towards green buildings and cities by 2030. The group discussions centred on four themes: Resilient Cities, Healthy Cities, Circular Cities and Net Zero Carbon Cities. Another highlight of the Congress was the EmiratesGBC Women’s Network Panel Discussion that underlined the role of women in paving the path for sustainable cities.

Prior to the Congress, two pre-Congress webinars were also held. The first webinar commenced with a discussion on ‘Circular Cities’ followed by a panel on ‘Healthy Cities’. The second webinar focused on Net Zero Cities and Resilient Cities. The deliberations from these webinars were discussed at the Congress.

The Platinum Partners of the 10th EmiratesGBC Annual Congress are Majid Al Futtaim, Knauf and AD Ports Group while KEO is the Session Sponsor and Saint-Gobain is the Industry Partner.

EmiratesGBC regularly hosts and participates in multinational events, conferences and forums. It has also developed a suite of activities, inclusive of networking events, technical workshops, focus days and facilitated training based around specific issues related to the built-environment that meet the needs of its members, of the UAE community, and the wider Middle East

About Emirates Green Building Council:

The Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC) was founded in June 2006, and became the 8th full member of the World Green Building Council in September 2006. EmiratesGBC promotes and educates on green issues in the built environment and is the official body for the UAE endorsed by the World Green Building Council. EmiratesGBC currently has around 170 members in the UAE which represents 1000s of individuals interested and involved in Green Building in the UAE and the region. In addition, EmiratesGBC members receive discounts on a number of programmes such as those related to conferences, seminars, training and green building events.