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An ecosystem of partnership and collaboration is crucial to accelerate the race to net zero: JLL

Cairo, Egypt – November 11, 2022: JLL, the leading professional services firm specialising in real estate, investment management, and development consultancy, hosted an informative discussion titled “Cities, Real Estate, and Decarbonization” at COP 27 with the goal of encouraging collective action towards decarbonization of real estate as a key tenet of climate reform.

With more than 60% of carbon emissions within our cities typically coming from buildings, a growing number of governments recognise that it is time to act. Yet there is a significant gap between the policies enacted in municipalities, the impact of the real estate industry, and climate science that indicates the need to reach peak emissions to limit global warming.

The key to progress lies in partnerships. No single stakeholder group has the resources or capabilities to accomplish the decarbonization of our cities – and the real estate sector – alone. Increased collaboration is required to educate, help scale technology, and create the right balance between regulation, incentivization, and advocacy. In the context of the same, the “Cities, Real Estate, and Decarbonization” symposium brought together industry experts on a common platform to deliberate on how city governments and the real estate industry could work together to ensure the realisation of vital climate goals and Net Zero targets.

Reflecting on the strategies that can enable cities to achieve a net zero economy, Victoria Burrows Director, Advancing Net Zero at World Green Building Council elaborated on how decarbonizing and electrifying the built environment will be critical to delivering a net zero global economy, emphasising imperatives such as the greening of energy grids and concerted private and public partnerships.

“Real estate investors and occupiers can and must think beyond carbon. Creating green, healthy, regenerative, and resilient spaces and places is a tall but achievable order, one that simply must be met.

As we tackle the decarbonization challenge, there needs to be a greater alliance to tighten the ambition loop between property owners, investors, and corporate occupiers, as well as national and city governments, and other key enablers.  We must work together towards common targets and taking a whole life-cycle approach to development as a critical part of the solution, taking inspiration from those working towards this reality” underlined Burrows.

Citing initiatives such as Egypt’s National Social Housing Program and challenges like the requirement for additional financing Ayman Sami, Head of Egypt, JLL underscores the country’s progress towards building green.

Sami said: “I think we are all in agreement that achieving Net Zero emissions in the real estate sector is not possible without greening the energy grid. In Egypt, it’s interesting to note that in the 2021/22 financial year, foreign direct investment in renewable energy projects grew to US$3.5 billion. Therefore, we are certainly heading in the right direction, and the government is aware that more efforts need to be exerted jointly between the private and public sectors to achieve the desired targets.”

In her closing remarks, Louise Collins, Head of Project & Development Services UAE, and Head of Engineering & Energy MEA said: “We believe this event marked a rare chance for stakeholders from the Global North and South to come together and develop a deeper understanding of the lessons learned and issues we all face within the sector – from funding to regulation. We hope that together, we can help drive the necessary changes to ensure buildings, cities and our sector continues to thrive while responding to the need for radical climate reform through decarbonization.”

This event signified yet another step forward in JLL’s ongoing efforts to drive climate action for sustainable real estate, healthy spaces for all people, and inclusive places for thriving communities by collaborating with reputable global organizations such as the World Green Building Council (WGBC).

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