The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have formally agreed to join the global declaration of an environmental and climate emergency at the triannual meeting of RIBA Council members.
At the meeting, which brings together elected trustees to debate and discuss the biggest issues facing the profession, the Institute also committed to developing the RIBA Ethics and Sustainable Development Commission’s action plan and a pledge to support the government’s 2050 net zero emissions target.
RIBA President, Ben Derbyshire, said:
“The climate emergency is the biggest challenge facing our planet and our profession. But to have a significant impact we need to do more than make symbolic statements – we need to turn warm words into impactful actions.
The implementation of a five-year action plan we have committed to today will ensure we are able to benchmark change and evaluate the actions that make most impact.”
RIBA Chief Executive, Alan Vallance said:
“With a background in the meteorological sector I have a deep insight into the impact of climate change and the vast and urgent task ahead of us. RIBA Council’s commitment to the climate emergency declaration is an important moment for the institute and the profession – a catalyst for the further action and change that is needed to ensure that architects and the built environment sector are at the forefront of a zero-carbon future.”
Next steps will include the implementation of a five-year detailed action plan to embed sustainable industry standards and practice and use the RIBA’s influence to improve government and inter-government policy and regulation.
The Ethics and Sustainable Development Action Plan will include measurable actions to support a net zero carbon built environment. It will drive change at a national and international level in industry standards and practice; in government and inter-governmental policy and regulation; and in the RIBA’s own carbon footprint.
Planning & Design Practice Ltd welcome the RIBA initiative, and fully support their efforts to identify the steps needed to build all new buildings to a net zero carbon standard and to identify the steps necessary to retrofit existing buildings. However the implementation of all this work while limiting carbon emissions itself will be a significant challenge.