Carbon intensive sectors are facing unprecedented scrutiny from governments, regulators and markets. Since this can have a significant impact on liquidity and asset values—indeed, the effects are already becoming visible—it is a factor that investors cannot afford to ignore. The real estate sector, which is characterized by long-lived and energy-intensive assets, is one such target.
The U.N. estimates that buildings account for over half of global electricity usage, about 28% of global carbon emissions and over 10% of potable water consumption. To keep global warming below 2 degrees as mandated by the Paris Agreement, the real estate sector alone will need to reduce total CO2 emissions to 36% by 2030.
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