Environmental Health & Safety

IChemE Urges Engineers to Combat Climate Change

By Chemical Processing Staff

Apr 03, 2014

The incoming president of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), professor Geoff Maitland, is calling on engineers to take a leading role in the battle against climate change, and the transition to low carbon, renewable energies.

Global energy consumption is expected to grow by over 50% by 2040 with fossil fuels continuing to dominate, providing up to 80% of energy needs.

Over the same period, carbon dioxide emissions are expected to increase to 45.5 billion metric tonnes – an increase of nearly 46% – despite widespread concerns about the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on global warming.

IChemE deputy president, professor Geoff Maitland, believes the current approach to tackling climate change is not working and is calling on engineers, especially chemical engineers, to lead the debate and speed-up the transition to low carbon energy supply.

“Arguably, engineers have a more important role than governments in our transition to renewable energies. Short-term energy policies and ‘political fiddling’ are failing to provide the solutions needed – and fast enough. We are sleep-walking into a catastrophic climate change future,” he said.

Maitland's comments coincide with the publication this week of the United Nation's report: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Read more on his response to the report.