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Second MENA Green Building Congress to go online in June

By JT - Jun 07,2020 - Last updated at Jun 07,2020

AMMAN — Following the “success” of the World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Middle East and North Africa Green Building Congress in Jordan last year, government, business, city and civil society leaders will exchange ideas on best practices for green buildings virtually from June 22 to 26, with the aim of tackling the region’s environmental, economic and social challenges.

In partnership with Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim, the MENA Green Building Congress will explore the latest trends across the industry internationally and regionally, according to a statement by the WorldGBC made available to The Jordan Times on Sunday. 

The MENA region is home to over 381 million people, with the urban population expected to double between 2010 and 2050 due to rapid urbanisation, and increasing demand for buildings and infrastructure in the region creates a “critical need” for the growth of green buildings, the statement said. 

The event will serve as a platform to share success stories and discuss the ways to collectively respond to challenges facing the region. It will also highlight means of ensuring that buildings provide a high quality of life for people, while working to eliminate negative impacts on the environment and maximise economic benefits.

There will be two virtual business forums open to the public on June 23 and 24 from 2pm to 5pm, sharing the latest approaches and best practices on health and wellbeing, net zero buildings and sustainable reconstruction. There will also be discussions on the regulatory frameworks necessary to support green buildings in the region, the statement said. 

Speakers include representatives from international corporations and NGOs leading the global green building movement, including Majid Al Futtaim, Google, Multiplex, JLL, Signify, Saint Gobain, Siemens, Meinhardt Group, AkzoNobel, UN Habitat, C2C and WHO. 

On June 24, the WorldGBC Chair’s Award and the David Gottfried Award will also be announced online, presented by WorldGBC Chair Lisa Bate. The Chair’s Award is given to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to global sustainability and the green building movement, and recognises their vision and leadership, the statement said. The David Gottfried Award recognises individuals whose contribution to the global green building movement has proven to be unique, innovative and entrepreneurial, the statement said. 

“The MENA Green Building Congress will bring together learnings and leadership that are invaluable to our global network and in particular the region. In these unprecedented times, we must embrace a green economic recovery with a priority agenda on buildings, to create new jobs and improve their overall quality,” Cristina Gamboa, CEO of WorldGBC, said in the statement.

“It’s time we deliver at scale net zero, healthy, equitable and sustainable built environments for everyone, everywhere,” she said. 

Mohammad Asfour, Head of MENA and Africa Regional Networks at WorldGBC, said: “Since buildings consume 39 per cent of global carbon emissions and 50 per cent of global material use, we have no choice but to give green buildings the attention they deserve as we plan for the post COVID-19 era. The second MENA Congress will be a great opportunity to highlight the role these buildings can play not only in repairing our planet but in fixing the economy.”

Executive Director at Jordan GBC Ala’a Abdulla said: “In such unprecedented times, the world has seen solidarity more than ever. The Jordan GBC has taken measures to connect its members through online platforms and reach a wider audience.”

“It is important to rise together to tackle the future of a green sustainable development and continue to strengthen and share expertise throughout the MENA region and beyond,” he added.

The World Green Building Council is a global network of Green Building Councils in almost 70 countries. 

According to the statement, the council is working to reduce the building and construction sector’s CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 to help limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This goal will help deliver on the ambitions of the Paris Agreement.

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