There are a total of 170,000 buildings that exist in Dubai and more than 80% of them will still be around in 2050.
This means that it is important to find ways to decarbonize these buildings in order to achieve net zero. Real estate is key in the journey of the UAE to achieve net zero.
JLL experts said that this would require the use of advancing technology for finding ways to become more energy efficient.
The head of project and development services and head of engineering and energy at JLL, Louise Collins, said that the chillers that are produced today are an excellent example.
This is due to the fact that they are significantly more efficient than the ones that the same manufacturer was producing three years ago.
She also added that it was possible to reduce energy bills by 35% through improvements, such as insulation and rehabilitation.
Another way to improve energy efficiency in buildings is through renewable energy production onsite and it would also reduce carbon emissions.
She added that it was not necessary for older buildings to deliver a lesser performance. She highlighted that the 40-year-old building of Mashreq Bank in Abu Dhabi was one of the best performing buildings.
The JLL launched its white paper on sustainability in real estate, which occurred just a week before the UN climate summit COP28 will be hosted in the UAE.
One of the key statements that was made at the launch was that 40% of global carbon emissions come from real estate and it also consumes 36% energy.
MEA chief executive, JLL, James Allan said that in 20 years, the discussion about sustainability in the real estate industry had come a long way and had now reached a good place.
He said that two decades earlier, the discussion on sustainability had been a short one and there had been a ‘circle of blame’.
This is because developers had stated that occupiers would not be willing to pay higher rents to ensure sustainability, while occupiers blamed developers for not keeping sustainability in mind.
He asserted that they were now past that phase and regulation was crucial for ensuring the industry continues on its path to sustainability.
He added that the UK was leading in this regard and it is mostly because of regulations that the government has introduced.
He also said that Australia has led the charge in APAC and this is where regulation plays a key role, which makes COP28 very important.
He said that they would be able to move quickly if they are able to get the space properly and thoroughly regulated.
No matter what industry, every CEO has to meet a carbon net zero goal and those who are trying to reduce emissions first focus on the real estate industry.
There is a greater demand for sustainable buildings by occupiers and legislation is also being introduced, which is pushing developers to retrofit their portfolios.