Covid-19 caused the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, to be pushed back by a year. It was held late last year in Scotland, the United Kingdom. From an Indian point of view, COP26 was both historical and monumental because it said that by 2070, the country would have no net emissions at all. This means that India will set up a way to make up for its carbon emissions by taking GHGs from the environment. The COP26 also saw India agree to cut its carbon intensity by 45 per cent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, as part of the deal. India also said that by 2030, it would cut CO2 emissions in India by a billion tonnes, which would be a lot. For a pledge that has been called historical and monumental but that many people think is too far-fetched, the whole country needs to work together to make this herculean climate commitment across all sectors.
By 2030, the real estate market in India is expected to grow to about US$1 trillion. This means that it will make up 18-20 per cent of the country’s economy. There are a lot of people in India who work in real estate. This is a big part of the economy, and it also accounts for 22% of the country’s emissions because of how it works. According to the World Economic Forum, 40% of the world’s energy and 40% of all raw materials are used by the real estate industry every year. This amounts to three billion tonnes of raw materials every year. The buildings built this way account for 20% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.
On the Indian side, 2070 may seem like a long time away, but actions have to start now. There will be a lot of significant changes that need to be made. The real estate industry will have to do many different things to deal with carbon emission issues. Their homes need to be built in a way that allows them to be more energy-efficient. Leading real estate companies and their supply chains need to use more clean energy and become more energy-efficient. They also need to cut down on their emissions when they drive. This means that the steel and cement used in the construction of buildings must be made from materials that have been used in a way that doesn’t harm the environment.
Because the real estate industry is so big in terms of investment, some of the country’s most responsible developers have already stepped up and said they would do everything they can to keep climate change at bay. This was even before the COP26 pledge came out. An essential step in India’s efforts to deal with climate change is using the Indian Green Building Council, which is part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) (CII). They want everyone to have a “sustainable built environment” by 2025. They want India to be a global leader in this field by then. This organisation also has much help from state governments, the central government, the World Green Building Council, bilateral and multilateral organisations, and so on, to spread green building ideas in the United States. India made a promise at COP26 that it would reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. IGBC has also set a goal for its buildings to be net-zero carbon by 2050.
Suppose you want to build a house in India, but you don’t want to hurt the environment. In that case, you should think about buying a home from a company like DLF or Godrej Properties. Earlier, Lodha said it wanted to be carbon neutral by 2035. The company says that it has registered more than 25 million square feet of residential projects with the International Green Building Council. Decarbonising their operations and products is what they want to do. They want to do this by having clear energy efficiency goals, switching to renewable energy in a big way, and working on material efficiency and recycling. These developments will also help residents save money on gas and electricity.
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