- November 29, 2015
- Gerrit-Jan Baars
Onboard the Train to Paris
A sustainable world for all to share, now and in the future.
It feels a bit odd, having just visited the Gulf region and the Big 5 exhibition for construction in Dubai, traveling back to Europe to board the Train to Paris the next day, to discuss with conference attendees how we are involved and can contribute to a potential way out of the seemingly unavoidable climate change due to a global warming of more than 2 degrees.
Surprisingly enough, there is an increasing consciousness in the Gulf States of their responsibility in this, and there are a lot of initiatives with massive investment for sustainable city development and for renewable energy sources. I have visited such an initiative in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, that will soon house more than 100.000 people and is completely self-supported by renewable energy. It was also a pleasure to wander around there, and I saw an enormous difference with the (unsustainable) megacities that have been built in the Middle East Region, in China and Asia as well as in Latin America over the last 20 years. With clever but also traditional design elements, the energy required was cut back by 60%. Important if you realize that cooling still costs 6 times more energy than heating the buildings. The next challenge is to also build for the generations to come, to extend the lifetime of buildings from 15-20 years to at least 50 years. Sounds familiar?
During the exhibitions, there were at least 20 lectures on sustainable design and construction, LEED and BREEAM, renewable energy, etc… As I said, impressive. Every day I could read in the newspaper about the need and ambitions to go “green”. I was pleased to give an interview to a leading construction magazine, and feel that Thermaflex is more than welcome to participate in the transition in the Gulf States. Several investors and developers seem to be looking for partners that can support their ambitions. At least the money made with oil and gas here is being turned into something really useful now…
Back to Paris, where the Climate Conference (COP21) will be a crucial opportunity for all countries to cooperate and commit to some serious levels of ambition. Note that the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK are still the poorest performers in Europe with hardly any progress, and for the US, Russia and a large part of Latin America the results so far are just as sad. However there are also great examples like Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Costa Rica. The enormous investments in China and India are giving hope. How is your country doing? Now is the time to demonstrate how Thermaflex can help to save energy, but also how we can contribute with sustainable systems for sustainable energy distribution. This could speed up the roll out by a factor of 5! Flexalink, a street in a day, are the concepts that allow us to catch up, because there is no time to lose!
On Sunday, I will walk the streets in Paris with some of our colleagues from France. Other colleagues will also join marches all over the globe, in all capitals and major cities. Will you walk for a better climate? Will you work for a better future for the generations to come? Then I’m glad you and I are part of the Thermaflex mission!
Gathering in Rotterdam station with speeches. Positve mood and a good start to networking...
And arrivé! Had very good exchanges with representatives of Cofely, City of Nijmegen, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, MVO Nl, Oxfam, and several others....
- November 27, 2015
- Gerrit-Jan Baars