Congratulations to Ben Harris on achieving his certification as a Fitwel Ambassador for Evia Sustainable Real Estate. Fitwel® is a people-centric real estate certification platform committed to building health for all. Generated by expert analysis of 7,000+ academic research studies, Fitwel is implementing a vision for a healthier future where all buildings and communities are enhanced to strengthen health and well-being. Bens’s achievements and expertise, in BREEAM and now Fitwel, enable Evia to offer recognised accreditation services to our real estate clients.
30 November 2023
Day one of the COP28 climate summit saw the first big breakthrough: agreement on a “loss and damage” fund to compensate poor states for the effects of climate change.
The agreement means wealthy states and major polluters will put millions of dollars towards a fund that will in turn distribute funds to poor states harmed by climate change. The fund will be administered by the World Bank. Initial commitments amount to US$430 million.
1 December 2023
The first of three high-level events focusing on the global stocktake gets underway on Day 2. The first topic up for discussion? Adaptation.
As climate change threatens all countries around the world, increased adaptation action is urgently needed to reduce and respond to increasing impacts, particularly for those who are least prepared for change and least able to recover from disasters.
Delegates at the high-level event on adaptation will discuss how the stocktake’s outcome can bolster efforts for countries and communities to better adapt to the impacts of climate change.
2 December 2023
- More than 120 countries have signed a declaration acknowledging people’s health needs to be protected from the impacts of climate change. It commits them to meet and collaborate on addressing climate-related health impacts such as extreme heat, air pollution and infectious disease.
- 117 governments have pledged to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity by 2030 and reduce fossil fuel use.
- 50 oil and gas companies representing more than 40 per cent of global oil production have committed to cutting emissions from their operations.
3 December 2023
- COP28’s Gender Day is focusing on ensuring inclusive policies for a just transition that recognizes women’s crucial role in fostering resilient communities and effective climate action, emphasizing the need to improve the gender-responsiveness of climate resources and finance.
- Philanthropist Bill Gates opened Health Day with a speech that made clear the links between climate change, health, and finance. He said it was “thrilling to have a health-focussed event at the COP”. He went into the impacts that climate change is having: “vector-borne diseases are showing up in places they never did before”, flooding leads to more mosquitoes and diarrhoea, and heat stress on farmers leads to less productive crops.
- Around 70 countries and 39 organisations have backed a declaration which focuses on boosting financial support for climate resilience in war-torn and fragile settings. Called the ‘Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace’, it calls for enhanced financial support for climate adaptation and resilience in these places.
- The number of countries protected from extreme weather by early warning systems has doubled since 2015. As of March 2023, 101 have some kind of early warning system in place – six more than last year – according to a new UN report.
4 December 2023
- On Day 5, two new gap reports were released. The Adaptation Gap Report finds that progress on climate adaptation is slowing when it should be accelerating to catch up with rising climate change impacts.
- The Emissions Gap Report finds that the world is heading for a temperature rise far above the Paris Agreement goals unless countries deliver more than they have promised.
- A new ‘Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership’ was unveiled, endorsed by over 60 Parties. With a three-year package of measures, it seeks to address the disproportionate impact of climate-related job loss on women.
- A number of countries and banks – including the UK, France, World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) – agreed to include more climate-resilient debt clauses in their lending. These CRDCs allow vulnerable countries to pause debt repayments when climate disaster strikes, affording them ‘breathing space’ to recover.
5 December 2023
- Focus turns to energy and industry, the just transition, and Indigenous Peoples
- A major new report has found that we have just seven years of carbon budget left before the world shoots past 1.5°C. Global carbon emissions from oil, gas and coal have risen again this year – up by 1.1 per cent on 2022 levels to reach an estimated 36.8 billion tonnes.
- More than 60 countries signed up for a pledge to slash emissions from cooling. The Global Cooling Pledge calls for countries to reduce their cooling-related emissions by at least 68 per cent by 2050.
- US special climate envoy John Kerry has launched an international plan to boost nuclear fusion technology. Kerry told an event at the UN climate summit that there was “potential in fusion to revolutionise our world”.
6 December 2023
- The Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change has pushed for negotiators to put their money where their mouths are, saying nothing will happen without finance. Speaking to press in Dubai, Simon Stiell said that negotiators have a “starting text on the table” over the Global Stocktake.
- An announcement from earlier in the week, but one pertinent to today’s-built environment theme. The world’s 10 largest concrete and cement companies are getting serious about decarbonising their highly polluting industry, according to a new report. CEMEX and Holcim, the biggest cement producers in the UK and US respectively, are among the stakeholders in a new strategy to get to net zero emissions within 25 years. These two titans of the material world are responsible for 8 per cent of global CO2 emissions: more than aviation and shipping combined. A new partnership between the big firms, architects, engineers, and other experts includes the first net zero strategy anchored in “granular economic modelling”.
- A Joint Outcome Statement on Urbanization and Climate Change, supported by dozens of national ministers of environment, urban development, and housing. It lays out a 10-point plan to build climate action into different levels of government, and make sure enough adaptation finance is reaching cities.
7 Dec – COP28 Rest Day
8 December 2023
- Today’s COP28 theme focusing on youth and children saw the hosting of the second edition of the RewirEd Summit, which places education at the forefront of the climate agenda. Speakers at the Summit included ministers, UN representatives and industry leaders, and sessions focused on youth action and solutions to climate change, climate education and creating education systems for a sustainable future.
- Governments will take a decision on the global stocktake at COP28, which can be leveraged to accelerate ambition in their next round of climate action plans (known as “nationally determined contributions”) due in 2025.
9 December 2023
- With nature in the spotlight at COP28 today, 21 countries have endorsed the Mangrove Breakthrough, a project to restore and protect 15 million hectares of mangroves globally by 2030. Not only are mangroves biodiversity hotspots, but they also act as carbon sinks, improve, and maintain local water quality and help reduce coastal erosion.
- Leaders from governments, civil society, and the business sectors convened at the Forest & Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP) COP28 Ministerial with renewed ambition for taking action in accordance with the 2021 Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use.
10 December 2023
- Food day got off to a flying start with the announcement that a “vanguard” of countries including Brazil and Norway are grouping together to transform their food and land use systems.
- The International Energy Agency warned that emissions-cutting pledges made by more than 100 countries and 50 fossil fuel firms at the start of COP28 aren’t enough to limit global warming to 1.5°C. 2 December. If these pledges are delivered it would reduce emissions by 4 billion metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents by 2030. That is 30 per cent of what is needed to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
- Established under the Paris Agreement in 2015, the global goal on adaptation (GGA) is a framework to help channel money for adaptation – and get it flowing on the same scale as finance for mitigation (which concerns supporting countries to cut emissions). After two years of work, a draft text on the GGA was published this morning, to a mixed reception from campaigners and experts.
11 December 2023
- COP28 presidency released a long-anticipated draft text that doesn’t include the phrase ‘phase out’ fossil fuels – much to the disappointment of various countries and campaigners.
- EU Climate Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra said that as it stands now, it is “disappointing” and “not adequate to address the problem we are here to tackle”.
- Many NGOs, campaigners and civil society groups have also said that it is inadequate.
- Small Island States are concerned that their voices aren’t being heard in talks, claiming “several other Parties have enjoyed preferential treatment, compromising the transparency and inclusivity of the process”.
- Brazil was formally chosen as the host of COP30, and Azerbaijan was also confirmed as the host of COP29 next year.
12 December 2023
- US, EU and small island states are among those pushing for stronger language on fossil fuels after the draft text released yesterday was deemed “insufficient”.
- COP28 presidency said it hoped the draft yesterday would reveal countries’ “red lines” and “spark conversations”. It definitely did that.
- UK climate change minister Graham Stuart returned to London from Dubai much to the dismay of climate campaigners and politicians. He is due to return after a vote in the UK parliament this evening.
- There are signs progress is being made and the COP28 President plans to continue consulting with negotiating groups and parties well into the early hours of tomorrow morning.
13 December 2023
Fossil fuels in a COP agreement for the ‘first time ever’
“The world just adopted a historic decision at #COP28 to set in motion an irreversible, accelerated transition away from fossil fuels. With that, we have achieved what we set out to do: keep 1.5 within reach and mark the beginning of the end of fossil fuels” Wopke Hoekstra (@WBHoekstra) December 13, 2023
What’s actually in the COP28 deal?
The biggest point for many is the call for countries to transition away from fossil fuels – the first-time reducing fossil fuel use has been explicitly mentioned in a COP text. The text recognises that greenhouse gas emissions will peak but also that pathways developing and developed nations take to shift away from fossil fuels will be different.
Loss and damage were headline news at the beginning of COP28. Recognition that the finance currently being provided by richer countries for poorer nations to adapt to climate change and transition away from fossil fuels is not enough is in the text.
Methane pledges were also big news and calls to reduce emissions were included in previous drafts.
Nature has also become a firm part of this climate agreement. For the first time, the Global Biodiversity Framework, and a reference to halting deforesting by 2030.
The United Nations (UN) annual climate change conference, also known as the ‘Conference of the Parties’ or ‘COP’, brings together world leaders, ministers, and negotiators to agree on how to address climate change.
Since 1995, almost every member nation on Earth has come together in a different country each year, except for 2020.
The UN describes the COP as “the supreme decision-making body” of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It includes representatives of all the countries that are signatories, known as parties, to the UNFCCC. During each COP, the parties review the progress towards the overall goal of the UNFCCC: to tackle climate change.
The negotiating parties include governments that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and/or the Paris Agreement. The COPs are also attended by thousands of representatives from civil society, the private sector, international organisations, and the media.
Why is this conference called COP28?
COP28 stands for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Where will COP28 be hosted?
The COP is hosted by a different country each year. COP28 will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and will take place between 30 November–12 December 2023 in Dubai.
Why is COP28 important?
It is hoped COP28 will help keep alive the goal of limiting long-term global temperature rises to 1.5C. This was agreed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015. The 1.5C target is crucial to avoid the most damaging impacts of climate change, according to the UN’s climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Long-term warming currently stands at about 1.1C or 1.2C compared with pre-industrial times – the period before humans started burning fossil fuels at scale. However, the world is on track for about 2.5C of warming by 2100 even with current pledges to tackle emissions. The window for keeping the 1.5C limit in reach “rapidly narrowing”, the UN says.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the COP28 talks and agendas to close the climate ambition gap. He also stated that “Leaders can’t kick the can any further. We’re out of road,” condemning a “failure of leadership, a betrayal of the vulnerable, and a massive, missed opportunity. As the reality of climate chaos pounds communities around the world – with ever fiercer floods, fires, and droughts – the chasm between need and action is more menacing than ever.”
What are the key issues to watch at COP28?
- COP28 is important for several reasons, not least because it marks the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake (GST), the main mechanism through which progress under the Paris Agreement is assessed.
- Getting the loss and damage fund (established at COP27) up and running and agreeing on a framework for the Paris Agreement’s Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA).
- Other issues that are likely to receive much attention, and which may be reflected across several negotiating streams, include energy transition and food systems transformation.
- Discussions and negotiations on climate finance.
For more information on COP28
We are all familiar with the wider requirements for ESG compliance including improved sustainable real estate. Solar PV is considered a Sustainable Solution. Solar PV can benefit your real estate asset through;
- Reduced operating costs.
- Protecting your business against future price changes.
- Gain Green Business Credentials.
- Marketing your Green Initiatives.
- Reduce CO2 Emissions.
However, installing Solar PV Systems can be a complex process with multiple considerations to be assessed. The team at Evia Sustainable Real Estate can coordinate and project manage the process to ensure that a Solar PV installation achieves your sustainability goals whilst adding value to your real estate.
Our in-depth knowledge and expertise can assist in the economic and application assessment of integrating Solar PV within an asset. Talk to Evia Sustainable Real Estate in advance of your next Solar PV Project.
NABERS UK is an adaptation of the highly successful rating programme NABERS that operates in Australia. Launched in 1999, NABERS is widely considered to be a world-leading environmental performance rating tool for commercial buildings.
Energy for offices measures the energy efficiency of an operational office building based on metered data and rates its performance. Offices can be rated in three ways…
BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology. Developed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in 1990, BREEAM evaluates a building’s environmental performance across a range of categories:
- Energy efficiency
- Water management
- Waste reduction
Assessments are carried out by independent assessors who evaluate the building’s
The assessment process considers factors such as the building’s
- Materials used
- The management of its environmental impact.
What value does it offer in-use?
- Lower running costs. BIU identifies ways to continuously improve efficiencies through monitoring, evaluation and setting performance targets that are assessed against tangible benchmarks.
- Increased asset value and recognition. Improved asset performance means that BREEAM-certified buildings support lower vacancy rates, higher rental premiums and provide a reputable and meaningful route to ESG.
- Improved health and well-being. High standards of internal environments, such as air quality and lighting, and the promotion of active, healthy lifestyles are recognised to improve wellbeing, productivity and satisfaction of people living or working in the asset.
- Recognising resilience. BIU considers an asset’s exposure to a range of risks from climate change and other drivers including flooding, pollution, natural hazards, and security.
- Supporting a circular economy. BIU adopts circular economy concepts to rethink how resources are considered, from a linear ‘take-make-waste’ approach to a more efficient and circular approach towards waste and materials.
- Bridging the performance gap. Measuring and understanding the performance of buildings helps achieve designed levels of performance. BIU users can start planning improvements and stimulating positive change based on actual performance data and transform modelled outputs into actual outputs.
- Leading the way to net-zero carbon. The world is heading for a net-zero carbon future in response to global challenges and growing demand from consumers, governments, and investors. BIU provides a pathway towards achieving operational net-zero carbon and beyond, using an integrated energy tool to measure stepped performance that is based on robust research, development, and many years of experience as a world-leading environmental assessment methodology.
It is crucial to prioritise and establish a comprehensive water conservation strategy for any asset. Some factors to consider include:
- How much water are we using and for what?
- Are conservation measures in place?
- Are there any leaks?
- Have we a Water Strategy and Water Management Plan with goals?
The primary water conservation objective of an asset is to conserve a natural commodity. It is based on efficiencies like reduced flows, leak detection and the introduction of rainwater harvesting systems for non-potable use (e.g., toilets, general cleaning). Conserving water reduces the need for costly infrastructure expansion and maintenance, providing a positive impact on the environment and service charges.
Once you have developed and integrated water conservation, there is a secondary sustainable measure that can explored.
When we think about sustainability measures, several projects typically come to mind. Solar PV Panels, EV Charging Stations, LED Lighting, Rainwater Harvesting – the list goes on. Asset Managed Water Wells are one of the least utilised sustainability initiatives explored in Ireland. What a missed opportunity given the wet summer we just experienced!
Asset Managed Water Wells are renewable sources that have the potential to provide water to common area facilities such as toilets and tap water (not for consumption) in public spaces. Take shopping centres for example. There are a small number of shopping centres in Ireland that have implemented Asset Managed Water Wells, but why are more centres not doing the same? One barrier is that the drilling process on-site is not a simple option. The site must meet many conditions and most importantly, the drilling must find a water source.
Exploring the eligibility of your site is worthwhile. In line with a decision by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) on non-domestic tariffs, a new set of national water and wastewater business charges came into effect on the 1st of October 2021. There has been no change to charges since 2014. Historically, customers would have paid charges based on their local authority. The newer system introduced four bands based on the level of usage. Having an Asset Managed Water Well on site would remove the need for public water which in turn would reduce water rates.
A well-developed and integrated strategy can be used in line with public water systems. This is a visionary objective that should be embraced to protect the long-term vulnerability of this natural resource. From a commercial perspective, the savings are significant.
Be a visionary! Talk to Evia Sustainable Real Estate or Bannon Property Management team in advance of your next budget year to discuss potential savings and projected payback.
Animal populations have experienced an average decline of almost 70% since 1970. This was a result of human actions, mostly in development and agriculture. These actions have led us to an era in which ecosystems are suffering losses that affect us, humans, too.
Deforestation, for instance, is one of the culprits in accelerating climate change. The loss of biodiversity is a serious problem and one that we must take seriously. It is not just about animals and plants, but also about humans. We cannot live without nature. The loss of biodiversity means losing the benefits it provides. The extinction of species has far-reaching effects on ecosystems and, consequently, on humans. A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows that the disappearance of plants and animals can reduce crop yields by up to 30%.
There is a growing global concern over the rate at which species are disappearing. To face this challenge, corporations around the world have started to collaborate and pledge their commitment towards creating a more bio-diverse environment.
Eliminating bio-diversity loss isn’t just a goal for environmentalists, it is crucial to sustainable economies. Companies like McDonalds are leading the way toward more sustainable policies as well as implementing bio-diversity programs.
The benefits of wild meadows in retail and industrial parks are vast, growing, and complex. It’s hard not to feel concerned about what is happening to our planet through deforestation and climate change, so it’s great to see how meadows can give back.
Over the last few decades, wildflower meadows have become a positive force for change. They are helping to mitigate climate change and reduce the effects of pollution by trapping carbon dioxide, filtering air and water, creating habitats for wildlife, and providing pollinators with nectar.;
Evia carryout an extensive wilding project at Alexandra house for our Bannon Property Management.
Carbon offsetting is becoming more popular, especially with companies who are passionate about protecting our planet. It’s also growing in popularity because it allows companies to make money from their efforts to reduce emissions. But is all this good news for the environment?
The idea behind carbon offsetting is simple: if you emit a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2), you can reduce your emission levels by investing in an alternative clean energy source. For example, if your company produces significant CO2 through its manufacturing processes – such as making plastic or paper products – it could invest in solar panels to produce power for its facility. The theory is that solar panels would offset the company’s CO2 emissions. In other words, it would be as if your company didn’t produce any CO2 at all.
However, there are some problems with this system – and they may not be immediately apparent to consumers who want to make a difference in their own lives and those of others. One of the biggest problems is that this method doesn’t actually reduce carbon emissions. All it does is offset them.
This means that you’re still producing greenhouse gasses but can offset their impact by introducing sustainable energy production. In theory, this would mean that a company could keep polluting while also helping the planet by offsetting its emissions.
The Positive Aspects of Offsetting:
It’s good for companies that are unable to make changes in their production and distribution processes. It allows them to be part of the solution without having to change their business model.
This is especially important for small businesses that don’t have the funds or resources to make these changes. This can help them avoid the high cost of pollution, which is a good thing. It helps companies that want to make changes but aren’t sure how. And good for those that have already made changes but want to be more sustainable.
Carbon offsetting is not a perfect solution to an increasingly urgent problem, but it is a step in the right direction.