There is no time for pause: Engineers Without Borders UK comments on the challenge & opportunity of COP26

14 October 2021

EWB UK_COP26 comment
EWB UK_COP26 comment

With COP26 around the corner, Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB UK) outlines its hopes for the conference, including a statement from Jenny Munday, EWB UK Head of Sustainable Growth.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, will be taking place shortly in Glasgow, between 31 October and 12 November 2021.

Given our current reality of unprecedented flooding, deadly droughts and devastating wildfires, this conference is likely to be one of the most important of our lifetime.

Jenny Munday, Head of Sustainable Growth, Engineers Without Borders UK commented:

Engineers lie behind some of the greatest advances in humanity – improving lives and enabling a more connected and comfortable world for many. But, at the same time, the profession is responsible for a significant portion of the damage inflicted on our environment; the building and construction sector alone is responsible for 38% of global emissions.

Given the extreme state of the climate crisis, the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will be the most catalytic of our life as we face the last opportunity to create extensive, sustainable change.

The recent IPPC report states that humanity’s role in driving climate change is ‘unequivocal.’ While individual consumption and choice is crucial, the engineering sector has to reassess its ethical framework in order to not only pause the damage done to our planet but regenerate it to create a more equitable future for all people.

Munday continued: “At Engineers Without Borders UK, we have laid out principles for engineers to fundamentally change the way those in the engineering sector work and think to resolve and reverse environmental damage and improve the lives of all people.

Engineers Without Borders UK will be in Glasgow where we hope that world leaders and policymakers will provide the necessary pathways for all major polluting sectors to rethink their practices and prioritise a globally responsible approach.

There is no planet B.

Those principles are set out in EWB UK's 2021-2030 strategy, available for download at: www.ewb-uk.org/2021-2030-strategy/

Engineers Without Borders UK will be in Glasgow, where we hope world leaders and policymakers will provide the necessary pathways for all major polluting sectors to rethink their practices and prioritise an ethical approach.

We are facing the last opportunity to create urgent, sustainable and impactful change – and engineers hold a privileged position in securing the future of our planet. The whole sector must reach a tipping point where globally responsible engineering is the norm – and it must do so with urgency.


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