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Delivering a net zero and resilient UK

Taking multi-lens, collaborative action for better outcomes

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Looking ahead to London Climate Action Week, Diane Emerson, Climate and Sustainability Leader, UKIMEA at Arup, makes the case for more multi-lens, evidence based and collaborative action.

Adaptation and resilience at the heart of the City

“I never worry about action, but only inaction.” Winston Churchill

As this year’s London Climate Action Week takes shape, the UN Sustainability Development Agenda, set in 2015, is already past its half-way mark. Amid the week’s flurry of events, ideas and discussions, arguably the need for action has never been greater.

After all, in the race for resilience in our global cities, the stakes just got higher. The disruption and risks to life of extreme weather (heat, drought and flooding), the risks to financial investments, to infrastructure and land values, plus increasing barriers to insure against the risks, all threaten global cities like London.  And, as Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of The London Climate Resilience Review and speaker at a recent Arup event has argued, we need to put adaptation and resilience at the heart of the City.

Addressing the diverse needs of cities, communities and citizens alike, we need to look through a variety of lenses to see how an action can solve a range of problems and make decisions based on evidence from different systems and sectors.  How could a cross border flood resilience scheme do more to restore nature and enhance community wellbeing at scale? How could a low carbon urban energy system across multiple boroughs boost social equity and resilience?

Collaboration at London Climate Action Week 2024

Maybe it’s our multidisciplinary engineering DNA, but at Arup that has always been our focus. Whether we’re working with a London local authority to implement a Climate Action Plan or developing a climate strategy for 60 London schools, we realise it’s not enough to simply solve the problem we’re presented with in a single commission.  Every action, every solution needs to do more than ever before and do it faster. We see our role as continuously bringing together perspectives, expertise and actors from different sectors to deliver together the practical interventions that will (literally) transform and protect our urban and natural ecosystems.

So, during London Climate Action Week 2024, we’re sharing solutions for scaling nature restoration and carbon removals simultaneously that we’ve developed with Nattergal. We’re encouraging uptake of a free toolkit for reducing polluting carbon emissions in construction, developed in collaboration with Impact Urban Health. We’re inviting everyone to join us to gain practical insights into how to implement the right adaptation measures at the right time to advance climate resilience.

As Dr Jane Goodall said: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Diane Emerson, Climate and Sustainability Leader, UKIMEA, Arup

Contact – Arup