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‘Achieving sustainability is possible in the Middle East, but needs a different approach’

High energy costs in other countries have pushed them to work towards energy efficiency, says expert.

| | Apr 26, 2016 | 2:08 pm
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Dubai, UAE: John Mandyck, Chief Sustainability Officer of United Technologies Corporation (UTC), shares his observation of the Green Building movement in the Middle East and how it is affected by energy subsidies.

Mandyck says that though there is a commitment to reduce carbon emissions in the Middle East, approaches taken to address them need to be different. Citing the example of Saudi Arabia, he says, the Kingdom is very committed to energy efficiency, because “they’ve realised that if they don’t change development practices, they will start to consume as much oil as they export”.

“Energy,” Mandyck says, “has either been for free or at a very low cost, and so the incentive to save energy hasn’t been quite the same as what we see in other parts of the world, where energy prices are much higher.”

Continuing his observation, he asks: “How do you move a market when energy isn’t as costly as it is in other places? How do we accelerate the Green Building movement in the face of that?”

Drawing a parallel to the United States, which, he says, has come a long way, as energy payback was the value mechanism to adopt Green Buildings, he adds that the Middle East, too, has the potential to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability.

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