My name is Jessica Chapman. I am 25 years old and I have spent 2 months in the Real Estate transactional team at AG.

Even in that time I have seen first-hand the shift in focus towards ensuring the built environment is more sustainable and energy efficient e.g. a number of our Landlord clients have incorporated, and actually insisted on, standardised green clauses into their leases. Additionally, the prospect of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) imposing strict sanctions if commercial buildings do not meet particular EPC requirements has sharpened focus. This is certainly a step in the right direction however, inevitably, with additional obligations comes additional costs. Whilst environmental good practice is a positive change to the industry, determining who bears the costs remains a challenging area to navigate. Do we need a COP for landlords and tenants – we are inhabiting the same planet after all.

The pathway to meeting the 2050 Net Zero target is at the top of the agenda of the climate emergency. It is undeniable this must be achieved in order to limit permanent, irreversible damage to our planet. However, the impact of a net zero built environment is vast. With buildings being responsible for almost 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions, it is evident there is a long road ahead to achieve this. I want AG to act for clients who are really trying. 

There is clearly a balance to be made between utilising intelligent and innovative infrastructure to create a more sustainable environment, and incentivising the industry to take practical and tangible steps to become more energy efficient. We are at a pivotal, defining point in the fight to achieve net zero. I am hopeful this came be done with the collaboration of world, national, regional and city level leaders and the right climate finance initiatives but we should be thinking in 3 yearly plans, not that we have the luxury of 3 decades.

Author - Jessica Chapman