ESG Investing Climate Change

Climate Change

One of the key ways to address climate change is by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Building sustainably and investing only in real estate that meets high sustainability standards can help address this pressing issue.

The Need to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Our planet's average temperatures are increasing fast. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest levels in history and are “extremely likely” to be the dominant cause of changes to the climate. A continued rise in greenhouse gas emissions may put humanity at significant risk. The increase in global carbon (CO2) emissions clearly proves this development.

CO2 Emissions Continue to Rise

Million tons of carbon (MtC/yr) (Source: The Global Carbon project 2014)
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The agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference was a significant achievement in global efforts to tackle climate change. There are many ways to reduce these emissions and the time for implementing changes is now.

The Potential of Sustainable Real Estate

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is one of the key ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) roughly one-third of global CO2 emissions come from buildings. Real estate accounts for 40 percent of global energy consumption and 50 percent of the consumption of natural resources. Sustainable building, therefore, can address ecological, economic, and social challenges.

Investing in green buildings is not only essential for a sustainable future, but also makes smart business sense. Several market studies show higher returns on sustainable properties in terms of higher sales and rental prices. In addition, medium- and Iong-term investment horizons involve lower risk as Green Buildings are better prepared for the future. In short, the risk-return profile is superior to conventional real estate investments. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and facilitates energy efficiency.