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Eco-friendly real estate: Financing the cities of the future

The global real estate industry is on the brink of a green revolution. Will the cities of the future be built to be greener, creating a parallel universe of green financing instruments?

Cutting data centre carbon emissions

Masdar: Abu Dhabi aims for first zero-carbon city

Amman: An ancient city looks to the future

Dongtan: China firms up eco-city proposal

New Songdo: Korea rethinks urban development


It often takes a shock to provoke substantive change. When the oil price touched $100 a barrel in January, the news could not be ignored: the days of cheap energy were over, even for the Americans. Even Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, is advising consumers to ditch petrol-guzzling cars. High energy costs have turned out to be perhaps the most influential factor in convincing world leaders and chief executives that sustainable living is not something solely for the committed few but also for the masses.

The great and the good in real estate – developers, investors, tenants and landlords alike – have largely have come to terms with the inevitable greening of the built environment. Buildings are inextricably linked with the climate change crisis. An estimated 40% of carbon emissions worldwide come from buildings, a fact that has focused regulatory, legislative and real estate industry efforts on changing the nature of where we live, work, shop and play.

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