James Robottom, IET Energy and Climate Change Lead, said: “Committing to net-zero by 2050 is a very ambitious and complex challenge but one that engineers have to be at the heart of. The technology and approaches that will deliver net zero are now understood, which is crucial, but will need strong policy leadership to ensure they are implemented.
“Engineers will play a vital advisory role to ensure the deployment of large-scale projects, programmes and large investment in infrastructure is achieved in an effective and timely manner. There is also a vast opportunity for advancements in digital technology to drive efficiency and deliver savings.
“Progress has been made in transport and electricity but this needs to continue at a great pace and significant challenges remain in decarbonising heat and industry. 80% of the homes we will be living in, in 2050, have already been built, meaning foremost a national retrofit programme has to be seriously considered and implemented to bring these into net-zero targets.
“Tackling climate change is the ultimate goal and one engineers and technologists now and in the future can be inspired and motivated to achieve. This target presents an opportunity to develop a world-leading green economy, upskill the current workforce and prepare the next generation to step up to this challenge. We now have the chance to put the UK, and its engineers, as leaders and deliver real solutions to these complex problems.
“The Institution of Engineering and Technology is fully committed to these goals and will do everything it can to assist government, industry and the profession to understand these challenges and work together to progress and implement the solutions to make the UK carbon free by 2050.”