The UK’s world-leading professional institutions will today (01 July) launch the Charter for Climate Action, with a pledge to support their members to prioritise both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement in their work.
A working group of seven professional institutions has developed the Charter after meeting with over 45 professional bodies at London Climate Action Week last year.
The ambition is for the majority of the UK’s learned societies and professional organisations to commit to the Charter ahead of COP26 to bring wide-ranging expertise to focus on the climate crisis.
‘No one profession or sector can meet the climate challenge alone. This Charter aims to prioritise working together at pace and with new levels of collaboration and professional knowledge sharing. This is essential if we are to head off the climate crisis this decade.’
Founding director and CEO of E3G
The Charter is already supported by 12 professional bodies representing over 400,000 professionals and a further 300 member organisations.
With over 13 million professionals belonging to a UK membership association, the Charter has a potential to impact nearly half of the UK’s working population, and reaches across every part of the economy.
Early supporters include Engineering UK, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, the Institution of Environmental Sciences, Professional Associations Research Network, Royal Society of Chemistry and Society for the Environment.
The supporters of the Charter maintain that the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis, coupled with the run-up to COP26, present us with a once-in-a-generation chance to create a greener, fairer and more prosperous society.
‘We believe that engineers and innovators hold the key to tackling climate change, but we do not exist in a vacuum. Most of these issues are significant, highly challenging and require unprecedented collaborative action. We are excited to work with our colleagues from across the broad range of professional bodies to champion interdisciplinary learning, cooperation and action towards reaching our net-zero targets.’
Director of governance and external engagement at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
The Charter seeks three commitments from professional bodies:
The Charter is being launched at London Climate Action Week, the largest independent climate festival in Europe.
A webinar is also being hosted with experts including Ethny Childs, engagement & communities officer at IES; Colin Church, CEO at IOM3 and Richard Spencer, director at ICAEW.
The event will invite professional bodies from around the world to commit to the Charter and raise ambition ahead of COP26.
The first results of the Charter will be presented in the Blue Zone at COP26 to demonstrate to international governments the importance of professionals in the transition to a sustainable economy.
‘As trusted advisors to all types of businesses, chartered accountants are well placed to drive the sustainability agenda and turn the ambition of a low-carbon world into reality. The imperative is to act now and we can only stop the unfolding crisis by working collectively with other professions and sectors. We are proud to sign this Charter and look forward to working with fellow signatories to accelerate climate action.’
ICAEW chief executive