Ethny Childs
November 2022

COP27 Decarbonisation Day: The role of professional bodies in decarbonisation

The fifth day of COP27 is themed around decarbonisation, with a focus on highlighting how different sectors are decarbonising and the new technology that can support a net zero trajectory. 

The transition to a net zero future will require transformative change across all parts of society and the economy. Professionals will be at the forefront of this, and it is essential that they have the skills and knowledge to drive change in their respective sectors. Professional Bodies will therefore play a key role in reskilling and upskilling professionals with net zero skills, supporting the next generation of professionals and fostering collaborations across disciplines and specialisms. 

In the understanding that transformative change is reliant upon systems thinking, which in turn hinges on the ability for communication and collaboration across sectors, the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter was launched last year at London Climate Action Week 2021. The IES helped draft the Charter and is now on the Steering Group taking the objectives forward.

The Charter is founded on a collaborative ethos and has signatories and supporters spanning disciplines and sectors. The Charter aims to leverage greater collective ambition on climate action through interdisciplinary coordination, across three key objectives: 

  • Chart the path to sustainability for our members 
  • Speak with a unified voice to and with professional bodies, government and the public
  • Empower and inspire our members to drive sustainable growth

The IES's sustainability journey

We believe that professional bodies should not only be supporting their members in the net zero transition, but should also lead by example by implementing their own action to reach net zero. 

The IES is therefore a signatory to both the Pledge to Net Zero and the UNFCCC Carbon Neutral Now Campaign, as well as the Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter. In line with our commitments to these initiatives, we must:

  • Set and deliver a greenhouse gas reduction target in line with a well below 2°C climate change scenario, using science-based targets
  • Measure and publicly report our greenhouse gas emissions for an agreed-upon period of time
  • Publish at least one piece of research/thought-leadership each year on practical steps to delivering an economy in line with climate science and in support of net zero carbon
  • Offset remaining emissions with UN Certified Emission Reductions (CERs)

We hold regular webinars exploring the implications of net zero and climate change on different specialisms. Catch up on past webinars on our YouTube channel.

Support science-led policy and practice

Take a read of our Manifesto for Transformative Change for key recommendations to support science-led climate action.

If you are a member of the IES, join our Climate Action Community, a multi-disciplinary community of environmental scientists leading our work in this area.

If you are not a member and want to support our work to ensure effective and science-led environmental policy, you can join as a Climate Affiliate, or if you’re a professional in the environmental sector working with science, consider becoming a member of the IES or suggest that your professional body signs up to the Charter.