RIBA declare a climate emergency
Today the Royal Institute of British Architects announced an environmental & climate emergency with a five-year plan towards a net-zero built environment with a unanimous vote towards taking immediate action.
The severity of the situation was emphasised by comments from Flora Samuel, member of the Council & professor of Architecture at the University of Reading, expressing her own concern as well as her students towards the future of society with one student telling her she was not planning to have children because they 'do not see a future'.
The severity of climate change has been a leading topic amongst Architects along with public awareness rising in recent years; demonstrated in efforts to reduce 'one use' plastics.
Architects have arguably become less prominent within the society of late, however, as a profession Architects are well placed to make a significant impact with an opportunity to make a difference, with President Ben Derbyshire stating ‘If we [architects] don’t rise to this challenge, we do not deserve to exist’.
The five-year plan includes a number of points as well as the following;
- Support for the UK government’s commitment to put into legislation the UKCCC recommendation for a UK 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions target
- Implement new Industry standards developing an Ethics and Sustainable Development Action Plan driving change, at national and international level
- Starting with addressing The RIBA’s own carbon footprint
How can we make a difference?
It is easy to think 'i'm only one person, how can I make a difference?', but if everyone made even just a small effort, it would make a great difference. Considerable change is the sum of many individual actions.
Education forms a major part of this effort, for both the profession and clients, showing the benefits of renewable energy, considered design, and living economically.
With this, We at JRD will be starting a 'sustainable series' exploring different methods of harvesting renewable energy, the pros and cons to each, and working with you to determine how your home can make a difference.
(Extracts are taken from the Architects Journal, article by Will Hurst, 27th June 2019. Image sourced from rawpixel)