TOP international speakers will discuss the latest trends in sustainable building at a conference hosted by Gibraltar’s green-friendly government in June.

The one-day event will raise issues like the need for carbon zero buildings, a rule which the government is imposing on new developers on the Rock.

It comes with a large increase in construction projects in Gibraltar, with the E1 tower on Devil’s Tower Road and a huge development planned on the Eastside reclamation.

Minister for the Environment and Climate Change John Cortes said it was ‘essential’ to start building sustainably.

The ‘Aspire’ event at the Sunborn Hotel will give those taking part a chance to talk about what they know and discuss recent trends on building techniques that help reverse climate change.

Organisers hope it will push professional developers and sustainability experts to find solutions to the latest challenges in the business.

With Gibraltar looking to be net-zero by 2050, it is already expecting developers to cover the generation of their own electricity or at least find ways to offset their buildings’ energy usage.

Strategic Director of the World Green Building Council Catriona Brady and Julie Godefrey Net Zero Policy Lead of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers will headline the conference.

Jason de Carteret from Solar Century Africa and Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Northover, vice-chair of the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on the Environment will also speak at the event.

A full list of the speakers taking part is available at the conference website.

Some of the leading developers on the Rock are sponsoring the conference.

“Sustainable building and an improved built environment are essential to deliver a healthier and more resilient future for Gibraltar,” Cortes said.

“We are looking forward to hosting a dynamic and informative conference and encourage anyone with an interest in this field to attend.”

A UN report found that construction ‘accounted for over 34% of energy demand and around 37% of energy and process-related CO2 emissions in 2021’.

Authorities are asking developers to increase energy efficiency, use insulation materials, install green roofs and deck their buildings in solar panels to reverse the trend.

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John Culatto