Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors pledges commitment at the UN Climate Summit

RICS CEO Sean Tompkins

The historic high level Climate Summit hosted by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on 23 September 2014, saw global government, business and civil society leaders commit to finding lasting solutions to the complex threats of climate change. Ahead of the summit, hundreds of thousands of people had marched for global action on climate change in cities around the world.

RICS Chief Executive Officer Sean Tompkins took up a personal invitation from the UN Secretary General to attend the summit last week. With 40 percent of CO2 emissions resulting from buildings in operation alone, the summit highlighted the significant role the built environment has to play in reducing carbon emissions.

In his review of the summit, Dr. Tompkins pledged RICS’ commitment to mobilise the profession and sector leaders to actively support the work towards a binding climate deal at the UN’s formal negotiations under the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in 2015.

“Everybody has to play their part in this – especially our sector. The land, construction, real estate and infrastructure sector has real potential to lead the charge for climate friendly and sustainable solutions and business practices, not only within the sector itself but also in interaction with the many downstream stakeholders who use or invest in real estate,” he says.

Writing for the RICS website, Tompkins points out: “This should not be seen as a threat but as a tremendous opportunity for leadership. I intend to work with leaders in the built environment to confirm our action agenda ahead of Paris 2015.”