COP28 – Sustainable Built Environment with Focus on UAE Blueprint

一    Radhika Arapally
|    December 7, 2023

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UAE Paves the Way for a Sustainable Built Environment with Ground-Breaking Blueprint 

Buildings Breakthrough was officially launched at COP28 on Dec 6th by Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP, with a powerful keynote speech that concluded with “Build for ease, build for smartness, Build for NET ZERO” – Watch the full video here 

On the same day, The UAE launched The UAE Sustainability Built Environment Blueprint. 

Did you know? – 27% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in UAE are from the built environment, and 85% of the emissions reduction target by 2030 will come from the building sector.  

You can read the full report and have a sneak peek of the various workstreams from here 

 The Blueprint  

Building a better future for tomorrow starts today, and the UAE is taking a bold step towards a greener future with the launch of the UAE Sustainability Built Environment Blueprint at COP28. This ambitious plan, unveiled on December 6th, 2023, outlines a comprehensive strategy to decarbonize the built environment and contribute significantly to the nation’s ambitious sustainability goals.  

The urgency of the situation is clear. Buildings currently account for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UAE, and reducing these emissions is crucial to achieving the country’s target of 85% reduction by 2030. Recognizing this, the UAE is taking a leadership role in the region, setting a strong example for others to follow.  

The Blueprint outlines a multifaceted approach encompassing a range of innovative solutions and initiatives. These include:  

  1. Energy Efficiency: Implementing energy-efficient building codes, promoting renewable energy sources, and investing in smart technologies to optimize resource utilization.  
  2. Increased Rate of Retrofitting: Existing buildings contribute significantly to the built environment’s carbon footprint. The Blueprint prioritizes retrofitting existing structures with energy-efficient technologies and materials, promoting a circular economy approach. This will reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while also extending the lifespan of buildings and reducing the need for new construction.
  3. Policy Regulation: This will involve implementing green building codes, mandating green roofs and walls on new construction, and incentivizing the use of sustainable materials.  
  4. Capacity Building and Innovation: Investing in research and development, fostering collaboration between stakeholders, and providing training and education programs to empower individuals and organizations to contribute to a sustainable built environment.  

The launch of the Blueprint represents a pivotal moment for the UAE’s sustainability journey.  With its comprehensive approach, ambitious goals, and commitment to collaboration, this plan has the potential to transform the built environment and create a more sustainable future for generations to come. 

The event was attended by Marriott hotels, and asset owners such Aldar, ICD Brookfiled, AD Ports, Masdar City. It was concluded with business leaders agreeing that “Sustainability is Good for Businesses”.

Important aspect of green buildings is green finance, which as a topic was simultaneously covered at COP28 and you can read more about from here.


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