Three ways public servants responded to the 2021 IPCC report

By Apolitical

Monday August 30, 2021

The International Panel on Climate Change report is catnip for ambitious public servants. Here are three local initiatives shared by public servants.
The International Panel on Climate Change report is catnip for ambitious public servants. Here are three local initiatives shared by public servants. (Image: Adobe/Aris Suwanmalee)

In August 2021, the International Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) shared their latest report. The finding — that human-driven climate change is “widespread, rapid, and intensifying” — doesn’t exactly spark joy.

Thorny problems, however, are catnip for ambitious public servants. Here are three local initiatives shared by the Apolitical community.

1. A clear route to net-zero (+more) by Cambridge City Council, UK

The Climate Change Strategy 2021-2026 aims to “encourage citizens, organisations and businesses to reduce carbon dioxide emission[s] and work together to make the city net zero carbon.”

To date, the council has already introduced 66 carbon reduction measures, including launching a 12-strong fleet of electric vehicles. The council, which used the IPCC report to urge the city to come together to combat climate change, made its priorities:

  • Reducing carbon emissions from city council buildings, land, vehicles and services
  • Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions from homes and buildings in Cambridge
  • Reducing carbon emissions from transport in Cambridge
  • Reducing consumption of resources, reducing waste, and increasing recycling in Cambridge
  • Promoting sustainable food
  • Supporting council services, residents and businesses to adapt to the impacts of climate change

Read more about Cambridge’s response to the IPCC report. Thanks to Weigang Yan for sharing.

2. The Climate Adaptation Plan for the Wet Tropics, Australia

The Wet Tropics of Queensland, Australia, are a world heritage site under pressure. Wildfires, cyclones and extreme heat are harming its unique ecosystem.

In order to “accept, act and adapt”, the government of Queensland created the Climate Adaptation Plan for the Wet Tropics 2020–2030. The plan is built upon engaging a broad community of practice, from indigenous stewards to extractive businesses, to coordinate on ecosystem management. The plan also aims to join up with regional, national and commonwealth initiatives.

The objectives of the plan include:

  • Procedural changes, such as creating a “decision-making framework to support management of adaptation to climate change”
  • Evidence gathering, by supporting collaborative research to better understand the wet tropics ecosystem
  • Clear action, such as creating and extending refuges for nature
  • Experimental action, for which the report mentions gene banks, assisted migration and translocation.

You can read the report in full. Thanks to Ellen Weber for the suggestion.

3. Organisational sustainability strategies at the University College of Estate Management (UCEM), UK 🏰

As an educational institution, UCEM sought to embed sustainability and climate resilience across its curriculum. This includes framing research activities in reference to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).

To really connect with international efforts to tackle climate change, UCEM launched the Global Sustainable Futures: Progress through Partnerships Network. The network consists of 490 coordinators from 90 countries, and aims to “connect Global South with Global North and to co-address the challenges of sustainable futures through constructive partnerships.”

Just ahead of the IPCC report launch, they hosted a conference to engage academia with practitioners and policymakers. Thanks to Renuka Thakore for the recommendation.


This article is curated from Apolitical.


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