The Landscape Institute at COP26
The UK hosted the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in October and November 2021.
COP26 was the biggest summit the UK has ever hosted, and the most significant climate event since COP21 in 2015 – the United Nations climate conference that resulted in the Paris Agreement. It was a watershed moment in human history that determined the scale of ambition and action to limit global warming and environment loss in the next decade.
Landscape for 2030
Landscape for 2030 is an evolution of our 2008 climate change position statement that establishes landscape as a leader in the fight against climate change.
Landscape for 2030 highlights the central role that the landscape sector can play in delivering climate change action, with eleven case studies showcasing the work that members of our profession are doing at all scales. These projects will both demonstrate to stakeholders the multiple benefits that landscape can deliver, and help inspire best practice throughout the profession.
Our action plan
The Landscape Institute has published an action plan outlining how we as an organisation will respond to the climate change and biodiversity emergencies.
In it, we describe how we will:
- Equip the profession to provide solutions
- Regulate and monitor the sector to encourage greater sustainability
- Advocate with governments and industry for measures to address the crisis
- Lead through our own sustainable business operations
Carbon Zero: The professional institutions’ climate action plan
On 17 June 2021, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) published a joint action plan for professional institutions in the construction and property sectors. The LI is a signatory to the action plan, which will coordinate efforts within the built and natural environment professions in meeting the UK Government’s 2050 net zero emissions targets.
Why have we declared an emergency?
In October 2018, an IPCC report claimed that humanity has just 12 years to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels – a tolerable adaptation threshold beyond which the risks to resources, ecosystems, biodiversity, food security and human life become far greater.
We, governments, and society worldwide need to do more. This declaration represents our commitment to a significant long-term shift in thinking, behaviour, and policy; and outlines how we will continue to engage with our members, firms, partners, and experts to bring about a programme of real change.
The role of the LI
The LI and our members are already responding to the issue of climate change through a range of measures. Our Royal Charter obliges us to act not just in the public interest, but in the interest of place and nature too.
The landscape sector is in an ideal position to deliver effective, sustainable climate solutions. As skills stewards for the profession, the LI has worked and will continue to work to build capacity in our profession across multiple fields.
This important declaration aims to galvanise and inspire our profession to act. To continue to engage with us on what skills and competencies are most needed to respond to this global crisis. To collaborate with other professions in developing better standards, and advocate for landscape as a leader in infrastructure delivery. And to continue to inspire the next generation to #ChooseLandscape and make a real difference in the world.
Collective action needed
We are not alone in declaring this emergency. We, our members, and society need to demonstrate a significant change in our thoughts and actions if we are to make a real difference to what is happening.
We have already begun to engage, and offer to collaborate further, with related built and natural environment professions and regulators to harmonise our efforts. We will work, wherever possible, in partnership with others to accelerate the changes needed, including:
- New regulatory approaches
- Embedding sustainability further into industry standards
- Changing our approach to the accreditation of education
- Sharing good practice
- Rewarding great leadership and success, for example through the LI and other industry Awards
If you would like to be involved in our work on climate change, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.