COP28 will convene this week to explore key areas the world must focus on to come closer to the Paris Agreement targets set in 2015. With 40% of global emissions stemming from real estate, it is evident that our sector has a massive role to play in tackling climate change. We aren’t moving fast enough.

To put this into context a little further; the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) estimates that only 15% of global real estate assets are on track to reach the Paris Agreement, and so as an industry, we must push for the implementation of policies that will reduce our collective emissions. Here are the top three areas that we at Hollis are hoping to see addressed on the COP28 agenda:

Introduction of stricter efficient building standards:

We, at Hollis, would encourage the implementation of whole building energy use standards. With lack of clear guidance, the market has developed their own targets which vary significantly in scope and scale. Not only is this not a level playing field, but it causes confusion. Clearly understood rules of what needs to be done are required.

An emphasis on climate resilient design

Even if the Paris targets are hit, the rise in temperatures will cause volatility in weather, from heatwaves to violent storms, from increased drought to greater risk of flooding. The EU taxonomy is encouraging a review of climate resilient design. We want to see this go further, to be developed and mandated globally, so that the risks that climate change poses to the built environment can be understood and mitigated.

More sustainable urban planning

The future of planning should focus on creating a sustainable built environment. This should consider everything from how to use buildings more efficiently, to moving people around the built environment in a sustainable way. It should also do more to encourage the principle of circularity.

What can we do now?

We’ll be watching closely to see how the COP28 discussions, decisions and policies will impact regulations and mandates for the real estate industry. Whilst the annual COP events are important for top-level conversations between global leaders and decision makers, as an industry there is much we can be getting on with now to improve our built environment.

Our dedicated ESG and Environmental teams are working closely with investors and occupiers to put in place short-, medium- and long-term strategies. To discuss how we can support you with this, please get in touch.

Tom Willcock

Chief Operating Officer
Management board

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