UK professional institutions launch Charter for Climate Action

The UK's leading professional institutions have launched a new Charter for Climate Action, calling on bodies to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement while upskilling their workforces to champion the sustainability movement.

UK membership associations currently cover more than 13 million working professionals

UK membership associations currently cover more than 13 million working professionals

A group of professional institutions has launched the new website for the Charter for Climate Action. The aim of the Charter is to get the UK’s professional bodies to align with both the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UK membership associations currently cover more than 13 million working professionals, meaning the Charter can impact nearly half of the UK’s working population across every part of the economy

Early signatories include the Energy Institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Nigel Topping, the High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP26, said, “The UK’s professional bodies have a critical role to play in accelerating climate action. Today’s workforce is critical for a successful transition to a net-zero economy and professional bodies are in a unique position to support millions of professionals across the UK in achieving this. I encourage more bodies to sign up to the Charter ahead of COP26, as the world’s eyes will be upon us in Glasgow.”

The Charter is currently supported by nine professional bodies representing more than 400,000 professionals and a further 300 member organisations.

It binds members to three overarching commitments to align to the 1.5C pathway, unify their voice to lobby for long-lasting change and to empower and develop their members.

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.

COP and net-zero

In related news, almost one-third of Europe's largest companies have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, but only 5% are on course to reach these ambitions, a new study has found.

The Charter arrives just days after a panel of expert speakers, representing the UK Government as well as business giants Virgin Media O2 and Centrica Business Solutions, discussed climate action at edie’s COP26 Climate Action Workshops, hosted in London for members of edie’s exclusive networking clubs.

The COP26 unit’s business engagement lead, Bridget Jackson, reiterated COP26 President Alok Sharma’s call to “keep 1.5C alive” through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement. The UN’s recent Synthesis Report on NDCs concluded that current commitments would deliver a projected decrease in global emissions of 12% by 2030, compared to 2010 levels. However, a 25% decrease would be needed to deliver a 2C world, or a 45% decrease to deliver a 1.5C world.

Matt Mace



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