DECARBONIZATION IN THE MENA REGION
Climate change and preventing future catastrophic effects is a need of the hour, which means reducing global emissions from dominant sources. Construction sector might seem like a forefront in terms of contribution to the development in the recent times, oil and gas remains an integral part of the MENA region in the matter of energy consumption and carbon emission. The challenge for the region at the moment is to modify and develop framework stimulating the larger concern of being sustainable and at the same time nurturing the investment policies leading to decarbonize the system. From building strategies that reduce carbon use and still staying profitable to engaging the market has been a progressive step. Having a well-designed structure to support, Net Zero Energy Buildings has become a common goal for many. There needs to be emphasis on facilitating climate actions through carbon market platforms. Such platforms can accelerate the process of mitigating climate change along with helping businesses to get involved in carbon offsetting and reduce GHG emissions in an economically efficient way. The focus will be on approach to carbon neutrality, translating business activities into countable emissions, and to create an environment for effective national and global solutions.
Dr. Yousef Al Horr is the Founding Chairman and Managing Director of the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD). Since establishing the organization in 2009, he made GORD as an epitome of knowledge on sustainability that generates awareness and develops capacity on conceptual, elemental and lateral thinking on sustainability of urban sector. He worked hard with international community in developing and launching the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) – the Middle East’s first integrated and performance-based green building rating system. He also made significant contributions to the development of Qatari standards of construction. In addition, he has led the development of eco labeling schemes for green products, materials and systems by coordinating and communicating with international organizations in the same field. Dr. Al Horr has contributed to various patents that have been registered in different regions around the world, according to their importance and feasibility for commercialization.
Dr. Al Horr, on behalf of GORD, led several multi-disciplinary scientific research programs through GORD’s own resources as well as via its partnerships with local and international institutions. He has led and contributed to the work on sustainability research themes of Carbon & Climate Change, Eco Materials, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Sciences, HVAC Solutions, Renewable Energy, and Water Resources & Technologies. His recent contribution includes patented hybrid cooling technology for outdoor cooling system which has been patented and has been nominated for international innovator of the year award.
Dr. Al Horr has published several peer reviewed scientific research papers, published in specialized journals in the fields of engineering, sustainability, renewable energy and alternative resources. He also chairs the editorial board of the International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment (IJSBE), published by GORD in cooperation with Elsevier – the world’s largest scientific publishing house. He reviews research articles for several scientific journals and is a member of several specialized associations and organizations. In 2016, Dr. Al Horr launched GORD’s Carbon Management and Climate Action Facilitation Program is operated through Gulf Carbon Council (GCC), an initiative that aims to assist the countries in MENA region to diversify and transform their economies to the ones whose fundamentals are based on low-carbon and high sustainability principles.