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Environment

Emirates Environmental Group in its panel discussion sheds the light on urban extensions

Emirates Environmental Group conducted its 6th Panel Discussion on 29th November 2022 in association with Arabia CSR Network and supported by EmiratesGBC, Clean Energy Business Council and the Swiss Business Council.  Rheem Company and its distributor Leminar Global were the Co-sponsors of this event.  The session shed light on how to redesign the current urban environment and achieve net zero.

Mr. Brian Hempenstall, Managing Director – Rheem (MEA) stated that “Rheem is nearly a 100 year old company and has been in the GCC for more than 30 years. In a building envelope we address 60% of the energy consumption across Air and Water heating product categories. Rheem’s high efficiency & innovative product offering is designed for a very low GHG emission and contributes enormously towards achieving the Net Zero sustainability targets of the region.”

Mrs. Habiba Al Mar’ashi, Co-founder and Chairperson of EEG mentioned “A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that – Modelled global scenarios, existing buildings, if retrofitted, and buildings yet to be built, are projected to approach net zero GHG emissions in 2050 if renewable energy measures, are effectively implemented and barriers to decarbonisation are removed. Low emission policies increase the risk of locking-in buildings’ carbon for decades, while well-designed and effectively implemented mitigation interventions have significant potential to contribute to achieving SDGs in all regions while adapting buildings to future climate.”

She accentuated the necessity of retrofitting in today’s scenario by stating “A report by World Economic Forum states that 80% of the buildings we have today will exist in 2050. If we are to reach net zero by 2050 we face a significant challenge of mass green retrofitting to existing buildings to reduce the carbon emitted from them. Taking steps that cut energy consumption and reduce harmful emissions through retrofitting therefore becomes crucial for the industry – and for the community. That’s why national and local governments, housing associations and the private sector all need to come together to increase the energy efficiency of our building stock – a project that could reduce annual energy costs, create jobs and reduce national carbon emissions.”

The session was chaired by Mr. Issa Azar, CEO of Smart Automation Energy.

The distinguished panel of speakers who contributed their expert views were:

• Mr. Khaled Bushnaq, CEO Energy Management Services

• Mr. Henrique Pereira, CEO of Taka Solutions

• Eng. Mozah Mohamed Al Nuami – Director of Productivity and Demand at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

• Mr.Srinivasan Rangan – Director of Marketing and Product Management, RMEA Manufacturing LLC.

The session discussed several important points such as;

(1) The different types of retrofits that can improve the sustainability of buildings,

(2) Challenges facing the retrofitting of old constructions,

(3) Impacts of retrofits on the economy, society & the environment,

(4) Policies in the UAE that support the retrofit business, environmental impacts of manufacturing retrofit devices,

(5) Aid/grants from financial institutions for the installation of retrofits in existing constructions, (6) Best practices from other countries where retrofitting was successful in increasing the overall sustainability of the building/city.

This discussion addressed several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals including Goal 7: Affordable & Clean Energy, Goal No 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities, Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 15: Life on Land and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

The session concluded with a lively interactive discussion where the experts and audience members including students from several high schools and universities shared information, discussed queries, pondered on the challenges and opportunities at hand, and uncovered the truths and complexities of the future of the planet.

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