We are at the heart of the climate change challenge
By Jonathan Riggall, Scott Witchalls and Michael Parkinson
We at PBA, now part of Stantec, are delighted to see the UK Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) Net Zero Report and welcome its recommendations to help the UK cut emissions to nearly zero by 2050.
The report, published on the 2nd of May, sets out a new proposal for the UK to progress tackling climate change. The Committee’s data and reports outline the need for action on clean growth through clearly identified investments in infrastructure.
PBA is ready for the challenge set by the Climate Change Committee. The drop in the cost of renewable energy, prompted by government policies to nurture solar and wind power, is one of the developments that have made the reports’ suggested target possible.
Over the last decade, our business has been increasingly working in the wind market, and in particular offshore wind where the UK leads the world. We continue to support our clients in the market to leverage further opportunities to deliver this infrastructure across a global market place.
We are also delighted to be working alongside innovators and disruptors such as Origen Power to support the delivery of carbon negative power generation.
Addressing transport, the CCC report says we won't need to change the way we drive to hit zero carbon emissions, but we will need to change what we drive, saying that eventually, we will all own electric cars. PBA challenges this key assertion since it’s clear that travel behaviours, and the way in which we plan for growth, will need to change and the Government needs to grasp that further in predicting future impacts.
We do, however, thoroughly support the need for EV charging hubs. Our recent Green Paper, developed with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which focuses on the Social Service Station, recommends that the Government creates the economic environment for the electric forecourt. The paper shows that PBA understands the move towards electric cars, as recommended by the CCC report, and have been thinking for some time about how to tackle the transformation the transport sector will need to undergo to support this shift.
We are also continuing to work with clients looking to transform their diesel fleets to low emissions across the UK. Working with regional economic and development leadership, we are tackling the challenges of the disconnect between the existing power infrastructure and the impacts of the 4th Industrial Revolution. In our community development sectors, we are integrating grid flexibility design to manage the transition of new power loads of electric vehicles and heating in order to be ready for future zero emissions.
The CCC report also points to the impact of modern agricultural practices on greenhouse gas emissions. Our response to this, with our clients, is to look at the new land development opportunities that innovation in food manufacturing is generating. We are now assessing land use planning to accommodate clean industrial intensification of agriculture within the built environment and industrial parks. The opportunities for intensifying agriculture into the built environment will enable the rewilding of our countryside.
At PBA, we understand the challenges set by the UK Climate Change Committee which is why we are at the centre of enabling the delivery of solutions. We are committed to helping the UK achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050, setting an example for other countries to follow.