26 January 2024
Side Event – UNEA-6 – The Urban Environment: The Near-Zero Buildings of the Future

Date: 27 February 2024                                  Time: 12:00-13:00 (GMT: +03:00)                                        Event Language: English

Format: In-person                                            Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Organized by: UNEP Cities Unit in cooperation with UNEP-led Cool CoalitionGlobal Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) and Generation Restoration



Urban areas are at the forefront of the pollution crisis, contributing significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable buildings offer a solution to reduce urban pollution levels and combat climate change. This session delves into how near-zero emission and resilient buildings can play a pivotal role in mitigating these challenges. It will bring together top experts to discuss the intersection of sustainable architecture, urban planning, and environmental health. The session comes a week ahead of the Buildings and Climate Global Forum, convened in Paris by the governments of France and Morocco, in partnership with UNEP and the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction.


Key Themes:

  • Global and Regional Perspectives: Analyzing the importance of sustainable buildings in different regions, considering environmental and health impacts.
  • Economic and Policy Frameworks: Evaluating economic models and policy initiatives that support the adoption of sustainable building practices.
  • Innovation and Technology in Sustainable Architecture: Exploring advancements in building materials, energy efficiency, and sustainable design.
  • Community Engagement and Equity in Urban Planning: Understanding the role of community participation and equity in shaping resilient urban landscapes.



  • H.E. Hassaan Mohamed, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology Maldives
  • H.E Dr. Osama Ibrahim Faqeeha, Deputy Minister, Saudi Arabia
  • John Thompson, Asst. Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, US Department of State
  • Kerstin Stendahl, Special Envoy for Climate and Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finland
  • Dechen Tsering, Director, UNEP’s Climate Change Division
  • Juergen Weichenberger, Vice President AI New Value Stream, Schneider Electric
  • Nasra Nanda, CEO & ESG Lead, Kenya Green Building Society
  • Yubo Zhang, General Manager, NAAS Carbon Neutrality
  • Kweku Lisk, Deputy Mayor, City of Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Harry Verhaar, Vice President & Head of Global Public and Government Affairs, Signify
  • Dennis Papa Odenyi Quansah, Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria Lead, Climate Business Department, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
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