RICS CEO takes up personal invitation from UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to attend Climate Summit

RICS Chief Executive Officer, Sean Tompkins

On 23 September 2014, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Chief Executive Officer, Sean Tompkins will join governments, business leaders and civil society organisations at a special meeting to speed up progress on a global climate change agreement. The United Nations (UN) Climate Summit is a high-level meeting hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to address this complex global problem.

In his personal letter to Dr Tompkins, the UN Secretary General says: “Together, we can leverage our strengths, multiply our means, and shift the global climate trajectory. The Climate Summit will see the largest gathering to date of world leaders to catalyse climate action and to raise political ambition for a meaningful global legal agreement by 2015.”

RICS, as a global professional organisation with a profession covering every part of the built environment sector, has a crucial role to play in influencing action on climate change. With land and property accounting for up to 70 percent of global wealth, our work in land, construction, real estate and infrastructure gives us a unique perspective on every stage of a project’s life-cycle.

RICS Chief Executive Officer Sean Tompkins says, “I am delighted and honoured on behalf of RICS and our profession to be invited to join such an important meeting. There is no doubt that achieving a lasting and effective climate agreement requires the support and commitment of all parts of society. As a profession, we have a crucial role to play, evidenced by the fact that, today, buildings emit some 40 percent of all carbon emissions.”

RICS has participated in the United Nations Global Compact since 2010 and has addressed climate change issues through the standards and guidance it sets for its members.

Tompkins says: “RICS is already taking steps to support a more sustainable built environment sector. We provide professional guidance to 118 000 professional members around the world, including guidance on how to consider sustainability features, such as energy efficiency or climate-friendly technologies in property valuation as well as on how to calculate embodied carbon in building. We are also currently developing a best practice toolkit for the land, construction and real estate sector jointly with the UN Global Compact and run a dedicated research programme that focuses on climate change and sustainability topics. Through our involvement in coalitions of international organisations that formulate international standards in property measurement (IPMS) and construction measurement (ICMS) we ensure that we promote sustainable action across the industry.”

“I look forward to the meeting at the United Nations in New York and to championing the role that chartered surveyors the world over will play in taking the climate agenda forward.”