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Last edited 26 Mar 2020
In May 2019, MPs approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency following a series of protests by the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion.
The motion called on the government to achieve net-zero emissions before 2050 and for ministers to outline proposals to restore the UK's natural environment and deliver a zero waste economy. It followed similar declarations by the Welsh and Scottish governments and by local authorities such as Manchester and London.
Leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn said: "This can set off a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe. We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US President Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis."
In addition, a group of past RIBA Stirling Prize winners' published an open letter declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency.
Ivan Harbour, Senior Partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners said; "The government's declaration of a climate emergency confirms that 30 years of slowly moving towards sustainable construction has not been enough and we now need to go much further, much faster. The work we take on as architects today will endure for the next century and beyond, with our clients and the industry, if we are to help safeguard the future for all."
Civil engineers across the UK also declared a climate and bio-diversity crisis, setting a commitment to strengthen working practices and create complete engineering outcomes that have more positive impacts on the world.
CONSTRUCTION DECLARES is a global petition uniting all strands of construction and the built environment. It is both a public declaration of our planet’s environmental crises and a commitment to take positive action in response to climate breakdown and biodiversity collapse.
 What can you do?
To help tackle the climate emergency, built environment professionals can share their knowledge about how to reduce carbon emissions and protect and restore the natural environment. This will help spread best practice and disseminate research, innovation and other resources that provide crucial, practical guidance about what we can do now to protect the planet for the future.
- Add useful links to the climate emergency resources page.
- Write articles giving practical advice to other built environment professionals.
- Edit and improve existing articles about sustainability.
- Encourage other built environment professionals to do the same. Post this call to action on social media, share it with your colleagues and talk to your network.
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 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- A zero-carbon UK by 2050?
- Carbon footprint.
- Carbon negative.
- Carbon neutral.
- Climate Change Act.
- Climate Emergency Design Guide: How new buildings can meet UK climate change targets.
- Low or zero carbon technologies.
- Nearly zero-energy building.
- Net zero carbon 2050.
- Net zero carbon building.
- Structural engineers' climate action.
- What we need for the journey to net-zero carbon emissions.
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