1st December 2023

Views on COP28: “The UK must adopt a long-term climate strategy”


As COP28 gets underway, our team has been sharing their thoughts on the conference and the UK’s role in responding to the global climate emergency.

Next up in the series, Craig Turner, regional director in our Glasgow studio, outlines the crucial point we have reached in our journey to net zero and calls for urgent climate action by the UK government.

Craig said: “COP28 will act as a check point for assessing efforts to limit global temperature rises to 1.5°C, as agreed in the Paris Agreement in 2015. But global leaders will likely get a shock when they realise how far we are from achieving this target.

“Closer to home, our government has discarded the majority of our goals and strategies in the interests of shoring up more political support. As a country, we’ve always prided ourselves that we’re a world leader in responding to the climate crisis, but unfortunately we’re now lagging behind. After COP26 came to Glasgow, it felt as though we made some progress, but it’s important we don’t let this momentum stagnate. The UK must adopt a long-term climate strategy that goes beyond whoever is in power.

“As engineers, so much of our work to make buildings, structures and spaces more climate resilient needs to be backed by legislation. Increasingly, funders are requiring carbon reduction commitments and putting retrofitting at the centre of developments. But beyond this, it’s vital that the government puts climate at the heart of planning and is held to account on its policies.”

Climate sensitivity and its protection is embedded in our vision, our values and our designs. We are members of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), and we have launched our own charter which sets out our principles and approach to the climate emergency in all we do. Read more here.

Views on COP28: “The UK must adopt a long-term climate strategy”