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Engineering in a climate change world

The third day of the Global Engineering Congress (GEC) will see speakers focus on how the industry needs to function while facing challenges such as global warming.

Building infrastructure and communities that can withstand the effects of climate change will be a key subject at GEC for speakers from the Netherlands to the UK.

It’s a particularly hot topic after the UN published a report earlier this week that warned that we have only 12 years to make changes to reduce the risk of extreme weather conditions and natural disasters.

In a keynote address, Michèle Blom, director-general of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment in the Netherlands, will talk about the need to consider the impact of climate change when planning new infrastructure.

Sir John Armitt, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, will talk about the importance of integrating these considerations into national policies, strategies and planning.

Reducing carbon emissions

One of the climate actions to consider is cutting carbon in infrastructure projects.

A morning session moderated by Jannik Giesekam, research fellow from the University of Leeds, aims to help engineers understand how much reduction is needed, and how to achieve it.

High Speed Two’s (HS2) climate change specialist Mark Fenton will give an insight into the engineering and carbon emissions challenges of the UK’s ambitious transport project.

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The session will cover how HS2 is working with its supply chain to minimise carbon emissions, as it aims to be the most sustainable high-speed railway of its kind in the world.

Clean water

Cleaning up the world’s waters, from the Thames Tideway Project in London to the sewer rehabilitation project in East India’s Kolkata, will be a sustainability activity widely covered at GEC.

Charity WaterAid UK will speak about examples of innovative water sanitation in poorer areas, while Alexandria University in Egypt will talk about how the country is improving wastewater treatment and adopting non-conventional water resources.

Helping to bring day three to a close will be a keynote speech from the chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd, who’ll talk about the growth of green finance, and its role.

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