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.
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 also responsible for a significant portion of the damage inflicted on our planet; the building and construction sector alone is responsible for 38% of global emissions.
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.
At Engineers Without Borders UK, we have laid out principles for engineers to help make this a reality:
Responsible. To meet the needs of all people within the limits of our planet. This should be at the heart of engineering.
Purposeful. To consider all the impacts of engineering, from a project or product’s inception to the end of its life. This should be at a global and local scale, for people and planet.
Inclusive. To ensure that diverse viewpoints and knowledge are included and respected in the engineering process.
Regenerative. To actively restore and regenerate ecological systems, rather than just reducing impact.
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.
Commit to globally responsible engineering
By becoming a member you will be demonstrating your professional commitment to globally responsible engineering. You will be joining a diverse network of people who share your commitment and will inspire, support, and help build your confidence to put this into action.