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Climate Change and Biodiversity and The Construction Industry Council

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The BIID and members of the Construction Industry Council respond to the Climate Change Emergency

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On 1st May 2019, the UK Parliament declared an Environment and Climate Change Emergency.   In the following month, the Climate Change Act was amended to commit the UK government to a net zero emissions target by 2050.  

In response, the Construction Industry Council and the built environment professional bodies including the BIID that are signatories to this statement:

  • recognise that the breakdown in global climate and biodiversity is the most serious issue of our time and that the built environment is a major contributor, accounting for almost 40%[1] of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats;
  • agree that there is an urgent need for coordinated action to address and mitigate the impact of the built environment  on both the climate change and biodiversity ‘emergencies’;     
  • agree the need to ensure that our built and natural environments have increased resilience and are capable of adapting to the future climate;
  • commit to a fundamental change in thinking, behaviour and policy by working individually and together, to drive programmes of change within and across our professions; and
  • support the establishment of an Expert Panel, formed from leaders within each profession and convened by CIC, to aid collaboration and shared endeavour between the professional bodies

The signatory professional bodies will publish and implement a climate change and biodiversity action plans relevant to their own discipline, membership and organisation; and working together, bilaterally and through the CIC, they will:

  1. raise awareness and knowledge of the climate and biodiversity ‘emergencies’ and the urgent need for action, particularly through members’ sharing knowledge and research;
  2. form a panel of experts that will develop and regularly review actions and a CIC Action Plan that recommends how best the built environment professions working together can:
  • drive a net zero carbon emissions pathway;
  • identify and promote examples of best practice carbon reduction,  climate resilience, biodiversity protection and improvement;
  • encourage thought leadership and innovation to bring about change;
  • share best practice in terms of education accreditation, membership qualification and CPD development;
  • provide advice and guidance on all matters relating to the mitigation of the climate change and biodiversity ‘emergencies’ and the appropriate adaptation of the built and natural environment, including:
    • new regulatory and policy approaches;
    • embedding the mitigation and adaptation of climate change and the protection and improvement of biodiversity into:
      • industry standards;
      • the accreditation of education;  
      • requirements of professional membership; and 
      • Continuing Professional Development (CPD);
    • what constitutes best practice;
    • advocacy; and
  • report regularly to all members of CIC on these recommendations and actions.
  • Oversee actions (and an action plan) that is recommended by the expert panel.

3.On behalf of members and with the advice of the Expert Panel, CIC will:

  • support and provide co-ordination and information exchange for the climate change and biodiversity action plans and activities of individual CIC member organisations;
  • work with the professional bodies to develop partnerships with governments, the Committee on Climate Change, the Construction Leadership Council and other governmental and non-governmental organisations in pursuit of these objectives; and
  • communicate activities both internally and externally, including through the publication of a regular Climate Change and Biodiversity Digest.


Agreed and signed on behalf of the following organisations:

Association for Project Management

Association for Project Safety

British Institute of Interior Design

Building Services Research & Information Association

Chartered Association of Building Engineers

Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

Chartered Institute of Building

Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply

Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation

Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers

Construction Industry Research and Innovation Association  

Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectors

Institute of Engineering Technology

Institute of Works and Facilities Management

Institution of Structural Engineers

International Institute of Risk and Safety Management

Landscape Institute

Local Authority Building Control

National House Building Council

Royal Institute of British Architects

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Royal Town Planning Institute                                

The Edge

UK Green Building Council

University College of Estate Management           

 [1] The Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, in partnership with UN Environment and the International Energy Agency released the 2018 Global Status Report – Towards a Zero-Emission, Efficient and Resilient Buildings and Construction Sector construction sector