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London’s engineers offer climate change solutions

ICE & IMechE launch their Agenda for Climate Change. 21st May 2008: A joint-report released today by the London offices of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) calls on London's policy makers and environmental experts to work more effectively with the city's engineers to find viable solutions to tackling climate change. The report: Agenda for Climate Change London, will be launched this evening at a reception attended by London's government, climate change bodies and the wider engineering community.

The report is structured around six related issues – energy, transport, waste, water and flooding, skills and sustainable communities. Members of both IMechE and ICE – which together represent 12,000 professional engineers in London – contributed to the report.

IMechE Greater London Chair Chris Brown said:

“London is a crucial player in the global response to climate change and the new Mayoral term presents an important opportunity for London's engineering community and government to forge better links and work together more effectively to reduce London's carbon footprint.”

Highlights from the report include calls for a reassessment of the viability of large scale local renewable energy generation in London. According to the Agenda, local generation of energy should play a part in reducing carbon emissions in London, but any low carbon energy solution must be cost effective and ensure security of supply. IMechE and ICE argue that security of energy supply must be ensured if we are to avoid city-wide power shortages predicted by 2015.

The report also states that a sustainable transport infrastructure can only be delivered if engineers and policy makers work together to ensure the technology is available, cost effective, and met with a change in public behaviour. A long term London strategy integrating land use and transport planning is highlighted as another important priority requiring effective collaboration.

On waste, the report calls for clarity on the London Plan's target for 85% of all London's waste to be managed within the city by 2020.

ICE London Regional Chair Robert Freer said:

“Reducing London's carbon footprint is not necessarily the same as becoming self-sufficient. Processing, treatment and transportation of waste within the city limits will not always be the best solution for reducing overall carbon emissions.”

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