Industry bodies join forces for new carbon pricing taskforce

A new taskforce has been set up by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and six other industry associations to develop a comprehensive carbon pricing strategy for the real estate sector. The goal is to enable pricing to be incorporated into investment decision making to accelerate tackling carbon emissions.

The initiative has been developed as part of ULI’s C Change programme to mobilise the industry to accelerate the decarbonisation of the built environment across Europe. 

Lisette van Doorn, CEO, ULI Europe

“While an important tool to help build the business case for low carbon solutions, a recent ULI C Change survey showed that internal carbon pricing is still a minority activity in the built environment,” said Lisette van Doorn, CEO, ULI Europe. “Lack of knowledge and consistent data, including financial and educational, were identified as the main barriers to implementation. And that’s why education will play as important role in this programme as the co-creation of a strategy.”

The organisations that have joined the carbon pricing taskforce are EPRA (the European Public Real Estate Association), GREEN (Global Real Estate Engagement Network), INREV (the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles), IIGCC (the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change), RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors), and WBCSD (the World Business Council for Sustainable Development).

“Real estate is the second-largest contributor of carbon emissions globally, and so industry wide collaboration is essential for us to jointly develop standards and find solutions we need to tackle climate change,” said van Doorn. “I am pleased to be partnering with so many prestigious and influential membership bodies operating across real estate and investment in Europe, and I look forward to working closely with them as we develop the programme.”

As part of the carbon pricing strategy programme, a series of workshops will be organised aimed at understanding and implementing internal carbon pricing. The programme will comprise two streams, one aimed at experts and those already implementing carbon pricing, and a workstream designed to educate and upskill practitioners including developers, owners and managers who have yet to implement an internal carbon price and are keen to learn more and collaborate.

“Coordinating action and collaborating with all actors across the entire value chain of the real estate industry to introduce a carbon pricing as a mechanism for lowering emissions of buildings may prove to be one of our biggest opportunities,” said Hassan Sabir, finance and ESG director, EPRA. “We could collectively make a real difference in the transition towards a low carbon economy and help create the sustainable future we all urgently need.”

The new taskforce was described as a “potential game-changer for the real estate industry” by Lonneke Löwik, CEO, INREV, as it aims to create a level playing field and enable informed decision making in pursuit of both environmental and investment goals.

The C Change Carbon Pricing workshops will begin during the week commencing 20 May and there will be an additional session organised for participants at the ULI Europe Conference in Milan  (10-13 June). The aim is to then preview the findings of the workshops to members at the C Change Summit in the Autumn.