Major construction firms have warned the industry needs to decarbonise rapidly in the wake of a damning report on climate change.
This week saw the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publish its latest report on global warning, which the head of the UN described as “code red for humanity”.
The report said it was now “unequivocal” that human activity has warmed the planet and warned the average global temperature would be 1.5°C higher by 2040 compared to pre-industrial levels. This level could be hit sooner if emissions are not slashed. The report said the higher temperature would lead to more frequent and intense heatwaves and extreme weather, including flooding.
Responding to the report, Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds said the industry must collaborate to cut emissions: “In construction, I hope we all now recognise that we have to transform how we deliver – the question is whether or not we’re able to effectively work together to drive change at the pace we need. If we don’t, our industry will find itself in a difficult place. It isn’t enough just to pay lip service to reducing carbon emissions – we must seek and deliver radical solutions.”
Mace said it achieved net-zero operations in 2020, and has targeted cutting its emissions 50 per cent by 2030.
Aecom director for ESG Robert Spencer said simply setting targets was not good enough: “It is no longer enough for organisations to set ambitious net-zero carbon targets without a clear pathway for how to achieve them by 2030. As a business, Aecom has signed up to science-based targets, which are independently validated and assessed, and we urge others to do the same – investment and delivery is all important in these next short years.”
Arcadis climate change and sustainability director Ben Harris added: “We are living through the initial phase of the impact human beings have had on our climate and this report is a timely step in a critical year, during which our governments can provide certainty not only to business, but to our global community, by setting out clear collective action.”
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