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Katherine Lang

Katherine Lang is a Senior Knowledge Lawyer in Baker McKenzie, London office.

Environmental sustainability, social justice and proactive corporate governance will increasingly underpin the ESG agenda in the real estate sector for investors, occupiers and stakeholders alike. Buildings are responsible for almost 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions, meaning our industry clearly has work to do if the UK is to achieve net-zero by 2050. The terms “net-zero” and “greenwashing” do not sit well together, and if the former is to win out, the UK will need an ambitious regulatory framework, coupled with unwavering buy-in from the boardroom to the living room. “Action, not aspiration” is the UK government’s message.

We know that the construction and operation of buildings has an enormous impact on energy-related carbon emissions, contributing around 40% globally. To deal with this, many real estate investors are committing to transition their real estate portfolios to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier. Owners, occupiers, investors and funders of the built environment will come under increased pressure to reduce emissions and substantiate their sustainability credentials.