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ICE promotes PAS 2080 on the global stage at COP28

08 December 2023

The standard for carbon reduction and putting nature first were key themes in ICE activities at COP28.

ICE promotes PAS 2080 on the global stage at COP28
ICE President Professor Anusha Shah and other ICE representatives at COP28 in Dubai. Image credit: Mark Hansford

Promoting the importance of nature-positive solutions and the key role of the PAS 2080 global standard for carbon reduction were the key themes of the ICE’s activities at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai this week.

The highlight of the week was ICE President Professor Anusha Shah delivering a summary version of her presidential address on one of COP28’s main stages on Wednesday.

Anusha set out her agenda around designing and delivering nature and people-positive solutions to an audience of more than 100 in person and many more watching the livestream around the world.

'Change the narrative'

Earlier the same day, Anusha used an official COP28 side event organised by the World Federation of Engineers’ Young Engineers / Future Leaders working group on climate action to call on the engineering community to “change the narrative”.

She said that engineers can change the way it engages with the media by showcasing how professionals can reimagine places as greener and more inclusive.

Anusha highlighted how the media can be a powerful catalyst for implementation of science-based policy if we, as a profession, focus on showcasing the technical solutions and explaining them in a way that’s accessible to all.

Anusha was speaking alongside explorer Bertrand Piccard, who recently made history with his own attempt to “change the narrative” and highlight what’s possible, by flying non-stop around the globe in a solar-powered aeroplane.

Putting theory into practice

Also presenting was AECOM global lead for ESG advisory Robert Spencer, who showcased a new “playbook” for delivering nature-positive infrastructure solutions.

The playbook was produced by global consultants’ body FIDIC and the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature.

It contains a number of case studies from around the world demonstrating the practical applicability of the concept.

The FIDIC/WWF playbook was launched a day after the ICE-backed International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI) released its own report exploring the role of nature-based solutions.

The ICSI report also features a series of case studies.

Together, the two reports demonstrate that there really is no excuse for not adopting nature-positive solutions.

Anusha said the concept of playbooks that provide practical examples were hugely important. Often, too much effort is spent on policies and frameworks, she said, and urged professionals to “keep it real and keep it simple”.

Promoting PAS 2080 on the global stage

ICE has also been using COP28 to press for widespread adoption of the PAS 2080 global standard for managing and reducing whole-life carbon impacts of infrastructure and buildings projects.

Former President’s Future Leader Micheala Chan got the ball rolling at another official side event hosted by the World Federation of Engineering Organizations.

Around 50 climate change professionals and activists heard how PAS 2080 is a globally-applicable standard that can be used to reduce the whole-life carbon impacts of projects.

Anusha, supported by ICE director of engineering knowledge Mark Hansford then further explained the value and global applicability of PAS 2080 to a select audience of around 40 senior infrastructure leaders in the Middle East region at a roundtable event organised by Bentley Systems.

The response from the leaders in the room was hugely encouraging and the ICE will be following up with a regional workshop early in 2024 to secure a project in the region willing to implement PAS 2080.

COP28 concludes on Monday and ICE will be providing a summary of what COP28 means for civil engineers in a strategy session on Tuesday morning.

Book your place for the strategy session now

  • Mark Hansford, director of engineering knowledge at Institution of Civil Engineers