UK Civil Engineers Declare Climate & Biodiversity Emergency

The crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are two of the most serious issues of our time. Our major infrastructure systems of transport, energy, water, waste, telecommunications and flood defences play a major part, accounting for approximately half of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats.

Our primary purpose has always been, and remains, enhancing society and well-being. While we have seen major improvements to practice over the last 20 years, for everyone working in the construction and infrastructure industries, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift.

Together with our clients, we will all need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructure systems as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system in balance with wider society and the natural world.

The research and technology exists for us to accelerate that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will in government and industry. We urgently need current best practice to become standard practice. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices and committing to create complete engineering outcomes that have more-positive impacts on the world around us.

We will strive to:

We hope that every civil engineering firm operating in the UK will join us in making this commitment.

To sign, firms must provide a work email address for their CEO, Chairperson or appropriate Board Member. Approval will be sought via this email before the company name is added to the declaration.

Please note that the Institution of Civil Engineers provides a link to this declaration as well as information about related activities and opportunities for member engagement.

In addition, there are two related UK engineering declarations on line. Please visit and

You can also visit to learn how to set up a declaration in another country or sector.

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