2nd MENA Green Building Congress takes place
Virtual two-day event underscores need to revive green economy in planning post-COVID-19 recovery
Under the patronage of His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC), in partnership with Majid Al Futtaim Holding, hosted the 2nd MENA Green Building Congress virtually last week (23-24 June).
Drawing the participation of WorldGBC board members and partners of the MENA Regional Network, the two-day Congress that concludes today focused on three key topics: Better Places for People, Advancing Net Zero, and Sustainable Reconstruction.
In his keynote address on day one, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “The transition towards green buildings is a much-needed move, as the building and construction sector is the largest contributor to energy-related greenhouse gas emissions worldwide at 39%, while accounting for 36% of global energy use. The UAE has a wealth of experience and knowledge in this field, as over the past decade, the construction industry in the country has made significant strides in incorporating sustainability into its concepts and practices.”
He added: “The escalating impacts of climate change and the dedication of our region to sustainable development make it imperative for all of us to join forces and fast-track the shift to a green economy across all sectors, including building and construction. The 2nd MENA Green Building Congress aims to enhance regional collaboration in advancing the sustainability of the construction sector and offers a prime platform for stakeholders to network and exchange best practices and development plans.”
Cristina Gamboa, CEO of WorldGBC, said: “The MENA Green Building Congress is bringing together learnings and leadership that are invaluable to our global network, and in particular, to the region. In these unprecedented times, we must embrace a green economic recovery and prioritize improving the quality of green buildings as well as creating new jobs in the sustainable construction field. It’s time we deliver at scale net zero, healthy, equitable and sustainable built environments for everyone, everywhere.”
Mohammad Asfour, Head of MENA & Africa Regional Networks at WorldGBC, said: “Since buildings generate 39 percent of the world’s carbon emissions and account for 50 percent of global material use, we have no choice but to give green buildings the attention they deserve as we plan to rebuild our economies in the post-COVID-19 era. The 2nd MENA Green Building Congress is a valuable opportunity to highlight the role these buildings can play not only in repairing our planet but in stimulating the economy once again.”
For his part, Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, Chief Sustainability Officer at Majid Al Futtaim Holding, said: “This year’s
MENA Green Building Congress is truly special as it gives us an opportunity to reflect and share insights around the current situation to a receptive online community. As the world recovers from the pandemic’s immediate implications, we need to focus on harmonizing the health and well-being of our communities, and achieving energy efficiency and resilience. Maintaining healthier communities without losing focus of climate change mitigation actions is crucial for the sustainability of our people and planet.”
The 2nd MENA Green Building Congress drives momentum among industry decision makers around green building issues, and promotes the adoption of green building practices and new technologies in the MENA region.