Last edited 30 Jul 2019

Why all civil engineers should sign up to this pledge

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Contents

[edit] Introduction

On 27 June, the UK became the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming, when parliament passed legislation committing the UK to a legally binding target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Cities across the world are declaring climate emergencies and people are taking to the streets to demand action in the face of extinction. Action is being demanded and this requires an urgent change across all sectors of the economy.

At this time, civil engineers across the UK have declared a climate and bio-diversity crisis, setting a commitment to strengthen our working practices and creating complete engineering outcomes that have more positive impacts on the world around us.

[edit] The Sustainability Route Map

ICE’s work in this area has already begun with our Sustainability Route Map, which uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to set a pathway for changing the way engineers engage with sustainability, including SDG 13 which aims to take urgent action against climate change and its impacts.

We also participate at global events such as the IPCCC’s Conference of Parties through our chairmanship of WFEO's Committee on Engineering and the Environment. as well as engage at a local level though our regional specialist interest groups.

The civil engineers' declaration sits alongside declarations from structural engineers and buildings services engineers. This brings together the community of engineers that are responsible for the conception, design and efficient use of our primary built infrastructure – the infrastructure that underpins our economic prosperity and social wellbeing.

The declaration recognises that engineers have a pivotal role in driving the net-zero target set by the UK government.

Show your commitment to delivering net-zero infrastructure by signing the declaration here.

[edit] UK civil engineers declare climate and biodiversity emergency

The crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are two of the most serious issues of our time. Our major infrastructure systems of transport, energy, water, waste, telecommunications and flood defences play a major part, accounting for approximately half of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

Our primary purpose has always been, and remains, enhancing society and well-being.
While we have seen major improvements to practice over the last 20 years, for everyone working in the construction and infrastructure industries, meeting the needs of society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift.

Together with our clients, we will all need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructure systems as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system in balance with wider society and the natural world.

The research and technology exists for us to accelerate that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will in government and industry.

We urgently need current best practice to become normal practice. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices and to create complete engineering outcomes that have more positive impacts on the world around us.

[edit] Our pledge

We will strive to:

We hope that every civil engineering practice operating in the UK will join us in making this commitment.

Sign up here

[edit] About this article

This article was written by David Balmforth, Chair of the ICE Sustainability Route Map Steering Group. It was previously published on the ICE website in July 2019 and can be accessed here.

Other articles by The Institution of Civil Engineers can be found here.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

--Institution of Civil Engineers