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‘Leaders and politicians are catalysts in the chase for net-zero cities’

The concept of net-zero needs to be made palatable for there to be a demand for it, says Regional Director, C40 cities

| | Oct 15, 2018 | 9:00 am
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Sanjay Sridhar

Dubai, UAE, 15 October 2018: During his session at the Seventh Annual EmiratesGBC Congress, Sanjay Sridhar, Regional Director, South and West Asia, C40 cities, stressed on the need for cities and construction companies to be committed to energy efficiency. Elaborating on the role played by politicians and leaders as catalysts in change, he said, “Politicians and leaders have crucial roles to play in galvanising the building momentum towards a sustainable, net-zero energy environment.” However, referring to this as “no easy task,” he said, “Dubai represents areas from Jordan to Bangladesh and has the scope and ambition to reach its goals.”

In order to achieve a net-zero environment, Sridhar said that it is important to identify the city’s baseline and based on where it stands, the next step would be to identify sectors that need immediate attention. He stressed on the importance of conveying the concept to people, in such a way that it is palatable and in a language which they can understand. He added that people need to connect to the concept in order to ask for a Green or net-zero building. Sridhar said that, if the concept is explained well, at the initial phase itself, this will help in getting things right. “Cutting down on energy consumption has a direct relationship with the environment and climate change and if people are able to see the connection, it will lead to a demand for net-zero buildings,” said Sridhar.

When cities approach us, Sridhar said, we help them put together a comprehensive strategy after benchmarking, where the city stands. The ultimate goal, he said, is to enable cities to develop low-carbon building codes, which go beyond natural requirements. If we don’t work together, Sridhar said, we might be locked in and might never be able to reverse the situation. He added, “C40 is in the process of working with agencies to help compare baselines between cities, so that new entrants can use it as a reference point of what worked in the past, while comparing it to their own baselines.”

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