CIBSE President Adrian Catchpole and CEO Ruth Carter represented the institution at COP28, bringing CIBSE’s world-leading expertise on embodied carbon to centre stage in a series of presentations and panel discussions in the prestigious Blue Zone of the event.

It was a busy schedule, involving multiple networking events both around the Expo area and at the Dubai campuses of Herriot-Watt and Birmingham universities. Talks given by Adrian covered issues around engineering leadership, the next zero carbon agenda and climate resilience as well as embodied carbon.

Adrian was both impressed at the calibre of delegates and also encouraged by the reception of the CIBSE messaging. “We went with a clear message on embodied carbon, intending to increase the focus on the subject.  We are good at building zero carbon assets, but we need to shift the dial to focus on the way we select the materials we use.

“The built environment sector was out in force with a determination to see action. I sensed a real change of gear. We know how to address the climate challenge, this COP was about how we turn that knowledge into action.

“The question now for our industry, and our government, is what levers we use to drive change. If government wavers on its commitment to legislate for change, then it will be up to us to convince our clients of the need to do the right thing – and that is a much more difficult prospect.”

While in Dubai, Catchpole signed an MOU between CIBSE and the Society of Sustainability and Green Materials (SSGM), agreeing to collaborate to promote membership and shared priorities.

The trip was rounded off with the CIBSE UAE Annual Dinner and Awards, joining with the Region to celebrate the achievements of members and companies.

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February 2024 issue

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