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Engineers pick up pieces after Copenhagen collapse

Climate change must be kept on the agenda after a weak agreement in Copenhagen, experts have said.

Engineers and environmentalists said the disappointing Copenhagen Accord signed at December’s climate change summit need not slow progress in the UK if engineers keep up momentum.

Engineers must push sustainability with renewed resolve, said ICE president Paul Jowitt. “The best we can do is to say ‘we’re ready, get on with it’.

When you get people unable to agree on something as important as this you get the masses writing it off. We have got to keep it on people’s personal agendas.”

“These things do have domestic ramifications,” agreed Forum for the Future founder Jonathan Porritt. “We have got to do a lot better at getting these messages across. We have to see a clear position from all the major parties.”

Grontmij director of sustainability Frank Price said failure at Copenhagen should not affect sustainable development, since the Climate Change Act and the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme are in place. “I think in terms of UK engineering we should not let it matter,” he said.

“It would have been good to have a binding agreement. We’ll get that in the next five years, and in the meantime the national agendas have not changed, the science has not changed and our industry’s response has to keep up and even be redoubled.”

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