The Climate Change Emergency
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC) report makes sobering reading. Human influence on climate is virtually certain. Extreme weather events are occurring all over the world – wildfires, floods, rising sea levels, species loss – and there is an increasing focus in the report on points of no return. We need to act now to enable a transformational step change, to tackle the existential threat to humanity, and save our planet.
The Net Zero Target
Scientists believe that limiting global warming to 1.5% by 2050 is still possible, but we should not dream that there is a magic bullet. Government has committed the UK to reach ‘Net Zero’ by 2050, a position in which we emit net zero greenhouse gas (in the form of CO2). This includes getting rid of our reliance on fossil fuels and switching to clean technologies such as renewables.
COP26 and whole systems thinking
In November, the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26), to be held in Glasgow, will bring together the Conference of Parties, comprising leaders from 197 nations with the objective ‘of ‘Stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.’
Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, argues that we need to reduce our energy consumption but at the same time we need to view this as a whole systems problem. ‘The pressure is on the Scientific R&D and Engineering communities to get these technologies in place, deployed at the necessary scale to try and reach that target as soon as we possibly can, whilst investing in the science that is going to produce the new solutions for the long term.’
The Transformative Power of Projects
Two weeks before COP26 Project Management Institute, UK Chapter (PMI UK), is convening a virtual summit to share knowledge and experience about the transformative nature of projects and programs, and the vital role that PM professionals and the wider project community, can and must play in our response to the climate emergency.
PMI UKs ‘Tackling Net Zero’ conference is designed to engage, inspire and equip, current and next-generation PM professionals, change makers and the wider project economy, with the tools, techniques, knowledge, motivation, and leadership to turn ideas into reality. We are seeking to unite like-minded individuals and organisations, with a shared understanding and willingness to work together in pursuit of audacious goals.
We recognise that the location of COP26 in Glasgow, places the UK firmly centre stage; so, our intention is that PMI UK Chapter acts as a focal point for a growing community of ‘Power of Projects’-partners; made up of local and global organisations including Fuel Change, the Major Project Association and Project Data Analytics Task Force, along with representatives from engineering institutions such as the ICE and IMechE, academia and industry.
A Stepping-stone to COP26 and beyond
Our conference is certainly no flash-in-the-pan event! It represents an important stepping-stone on the PMI UK Net Zero Route-map which will guide our direction of travel as we seek to empower change makers to turn ideas into reality.
CoP 26 (Conference of Parties) provides a once in a life-time opportunity to raise awareness and establish a dialogue with like-minded action-oriented individuals and communities. We will share and develop our Route-map over the coming weeks and embed learning from CoP 26 in the journey ahead.