Qatar Foundation at COP18

After the highly successful COP18/CMP8 summit, which was the 18th annual meeting of the parties involved in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, there was much to reflect on from a Qatar Foundation (QF) perspective.

The two-week conference was attended by 194 countries and in the region of 17,000 visitors, including more than 7,000 members of non-governmental organizations, and 1,500 members of the media, including 90 television stations, and ran from 26 November to 8 December 2012.

Inside Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) – the venue for what was the largest conference ever held in Qatar – there was extensive assessment of the progress in climate-change policy, along with a platform for members of the parties to adopt resolutions.

In his opening address, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar and Founder of QF, said: “Addressing the climate change requires political will and continuous regional and international co-operation. The way is still long, notwithstanding the efforts exerted at all levels during the last period, and that necessitates taking all possible measures to reach the aspired objectives and results commensurate with the people’s aspirations and catering for a future in which international solidarity, justice and prosperity for all prevail.

“In spite of variations in the circumstances among countries, today we are in an urgent need for international co-operation and confirming the credibility of multilateral international action to counter climate-change challenges. Therefore, the negotiating process on climate-change convention should emanate from the sense of unity of purpose and destiny, and seek a consensus on the joint goals epitomizing the concept of interdependence and building on what was agreed previously. The responsibility for reaching a practical and effective agreement is a collective obligation that falls on the shoulders of all of us.”

QF has continually taken steps to demonstrate its responsibility to provide a sustainable environment. QF’s sustainability master plan is a document that can be adapted to incorporate state-of-the-art advances in sustainable technology. The latest innovations are included at the conceptual stage of each new building and, increasingly, emphasis is placed on ensuring that the site as a whole reflects QF’s environmental ethos, while aiding the nation’s journey towards a knowledge economy.

There are 13 buildings under construction, which will be registered separately with the US Green Building Council (USGBC), and if each of them is certified, this will represent the largest collection of platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings in the world on a single site.

Construction of the first World Cup 2022 stadium will soon commence on the QF site, with the Qatar National Library already under way. Each of the new buildings are unique, but they share a similar characteristic, having been designed with sustainability in mind.