Industry Practitioners, Sustainability Experts, Policy-makers and Environmentalists Explore Practical Solutions to Qatar’s Environmental Challenges
Doha, Qatar, 13 November 2016: The Qatar Green Building Conference kicked off in Doha today, bringing together local and regional dignitaries, members of Qatar Foundation’s (QF) leadership, policy-makers, environmentalists, and sustainability experts.The three-day flagship event is part of Qatar Sustainability Week, which also launched today, and is a Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) initiative aimed at showcasing Qatar’s sustainability progress through industry-wide collaborations and engagement.
The event coincides with the 22nd Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), where world leaders, policy-makers, and environmentalists are gathering in Morocco to seek solutions to some of the major global sustainability challenges.
The first keynote speaker was His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry. HE Mr Al-Attiyah highlighted the role and importance of the Qatar Green Building Conference in promoting the sustainable development goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
Highlighting QGBC’s achievements and contributions in achieving sustainability, Engineer Issa Al Mohannadi, Chairman of QGBC, said: “Our efforts are beginning to bear fruit as is evidenced by the success of our nationwide sustainability initiatives that have led to Qatar becoming one of the world’s leading countries in terms of eco-friendly buildings. Qatar now has the second highest number of LEED-registered and certified buildings in the MENA region.”
“This week, a host of sustainability events will be held across Qatar as part of our newest initiative, Qatar Sustainability Week. The week-long event will grant various stakeholders the opportunity to showcase their innovative and practical solutions to the environmental challenges facing Qatar and the wider region. Qatar Sustainability Week empowers multi-stakeholder partnerships and action-oriented voluntary initiatives in Qatar’s sustainability industry, which have been identified as key elements to complement government-led action in realising the United Nations sustainable development agenda.”
This year’s conference and Qatar Sustainability Week bears special significance since it coincides with COP 22 where the outcomes and implications of the Paris Agreement are being discussed and further developed. His Excellency Eric Chevallier, Ambassador of France to the State of Qatar, in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony, said: “I would like to congratulate Qatar Foundation and Qatar Green Building Council today for this important initiative. The Paris Agreement was a major achievement, providing a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, aimed at keeping global warming below 2°C.”
“France’s Presidency has come to an end and Morocco is taking over for COP22. If we want to keep an earth where our children and grandchildren can live, we must wake up and act now. This is precisely what COP22 is about. Reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and sustainable development are top priorities in Qatar National Vision 2030 and in Qatar’s National Development Strategy. Qatar is contributing by investing in solar energy, by reducing gas flare, by developing public transportation, by promoting sustainability and green buildings. To this regard, it is extremely important that 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is committed to being carbon-neutral. It can set an example that will pave the way for future major sports events.”
Engineer Meshal Al Shamari, QGBC Director, added: “We are delighted to welcome our local, regional and international delegates to the second annual conference and the inaugural edition of Qatar Sustainability Week. We invite everyone in Qatar to join us for the array of sessions taking place – this week is a prime opportunity for the people of Qatar, businesses and public sector institutions to collectively address pressing sustainability challenges in Qatar and showcase our country’s green progress.”
Over the next two days, the conference will host several informative sessions, presentations and workshops around three inclusive themes, including ‘Sustainability as a Lifestyle’, ‘Green Business is Good Business’, and ‘Future Sustainable Cities’. Some of the sessions include Frameworks of Greener Business in Qatar, Sustainability for Wellness, Society and Behaviour, Corporate Sustainability, Business Case of Sustainability, Green infrastructure, Green Building Modelling & Assessment, and Retrofitting & Green Facility Management. The complete conference agenda can be found here: http://qatargbc.org/conference/agenda
For more information about Qatar Sustainability Week and the various events taking place in Qatar, visit: www.qatarsustainabilityweek.com