Home » UN grants RICS observer status at COP28

UN grants RICS observer status at COP28

by Mark Cantrell
Finnish materials startup Aisti raises €1.6m for 'carbon negative' tiles

The UK’s Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has been granted observer status for this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28).

COP28 is being held from 30 November to 12 December at Expo City, Dubai.

RICS represents more than 134,000 professionals working in the built environment industry globally. The organisation has been granted Blue Zone access at the United Nation’s premier climate change conference.

The Blue Zone is open to accredited party and observer delegates. It hosts the formal negotiations across the two weeks of the conference, the World Climate Action Summit, the country pavilions, presidency events and hundreds of side events, including panel discussions, round tables, and cultural events.

Observer status places RICS and its representatives at the heart of the event with crucial access to the key influencers of global climate change policy.

Justin Young, RICS’ chief executive, said it was “excellent” that RICS will be present at the “beating heart” of the conference.

“By granting RICS observer status, the United Nations recognises the importance of including the built environment – and RICS as a representative – in the global conversation on climate change.

“According to the UN, the built environment is responsible for nearly 40% of all carbon output and 50% of all extracted materials. RICS will meet with representatives from the UN, delegates from governments, corporations, and non-profits, to express the views and aims of the built environment sector and communicate its work to promote sustainability and achieve net zero.

“I am especially pleased with this recognition by the UN, as it demonstrates the leadership role that the institution has in steering the built and natural environment towards decarbonisation. I’d like to thank the RICS staff and our partners for their hard work in making observer status a reality for the good of the profession and the planet.”

The event is split across several thematic days, including an urbanisation day, which will be used to rally global and local stakeholders to mobilise resources and solutions to decarbonise the built environment and investing in nature positive infrastructure.

RICS says it is also working with partners behind the scenes to increase the role of the built environment at the conference.

Tina Paillet, RICS’ president elect, said: “Our built and natural environment is both the background upon which the current climate crisis plays out, as well as one of its most harmful and impactful constituents.

“RICS in its capacity as a leading professional body of the built and natural environment aims to steer our sector towards decarbonisation, towards a more resource-efficient modus operandi, towards better protection of our planet’s resources and biodiversity, and towards a more equitable and inclusive society.”

Read next: Net zero guide launched to aid energy procurement

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