The Royal Academy of Engineering welcomes the Prime Minister’s renewed focus on abating climate change as detailed in his first major speech on the issue yesterday. Last week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Synthesis Report clearly demonstrates that the need is for action to reduce emissions, not another round of even more detailed analyses and negotiations.

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech, Academy Vice President Dr Sue Ion OBE FREng said:

“I welcome the Prime Minister's commitment to action given the stark warnings issued by the IPCC over the weekend – but we urgently need a roadmap that properly defines these challenges and begins to take practical steps to address them. There are massive opportunities for the UK's engineering sector and for young people to become excited by and engaged in 21st century engineering projects.”

Professor Roger Kemp FREng of Lancaster University said:

“Like last December’s Stern Review, the IPCC report has identified that the long-term costs of ignoring climate change exceed the costs of taking action. The studies they report use models of the market for energy – often based on an ideal world with universal emissions trading, transparent markets, no transaction cost, and thus perfect implementation of mitigation measures. The real world is not like this and, particularly for transport, personal decisions do not necessarily follow economic indicators. Engineering can contribute to a reduction in emissions by the development of new technologies but there will also have to be a change in culture to conserve energy, far more profound than unplugging a phone charger or switching a TV off standby.”

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Jane Sutton at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636