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The greatest challenge: A low carbon world

Engineers must start rolling out solutions now if we are to meet the tough low-carbon targets in the timescales required.

That was the message ICE director general Tom Foulkes delivered to delegates at the Business Council for Sustainable Development’s 10th anniversary summit last week.

The summit was held jointly with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to explore what a future, low-carbon world will look like by 2050. It also examined what new skills and new business models will be needed and what commercial opportunities are likely to arise.  

Foulkes said: “The ICE was created in the early 19th century by a group of engineers dedicated to responding to society’s needs following the industrial revolution. This summit will address a challenge of an even greater scale: identifying how we must move to a low-carbon world.

Once again science, engineering and business must unite to meet the greatest challenges of our time. “For engineers, these are exciting times, with huge opportunities in offshore wind, retrofitting our ageing building stock, new high speed rail networks and using waste as a raw material and source of energy. The time for academic debate has passed. To deliver change in the timescales required we must start rolling out these solutions now.”

 Once again science, engineering and business must unite to meet the greatest challenges of our time

Tom Foulkes, ICE

Foulkes explained how the ICE is playing its part in preparing future engineers for the challenges they will face. It will do this by initial and continuing professional development, as well as focussing on developing low-carbon engineering solutions in all aspects of ICE policy and public affairs work.

A number of high profile speakers also addressed the summit. These including shadow minister for energy Charles Hendry MP, Shell UK chairman James Smith and chairman of the sustainable development commission Jonathon Porritt.

Later this year the ICE will be publishing a major inquiry on low-carbon infrastructure and work is also being done to press  the government to create a political environment which supports business in delivering a low-carbon environment.

  • Anyone wishing to submit evidence to the inquiry can do so by visiting  

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