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Member Insights: An Integrated Approach to Tackling Climate Change

17 April 2024
Reading Time: 2 mins

The urgency to mitigate the impacts of climate change has required a change in our approach to environmental sustainability. Members Equans highlight progress has been made in reducing coal use and adopting renewables, yet sectors like heat, buildings, and transport are still lagging.

Meeting the Climate Change Committee's Sixth Carbon Budget (2033-2037) requires a significant shift in how we heat, power communities, and get around. A range of low carbon measures, from heat pumps to energy-efficient lighting and EV adoption, offer support; but climate change can not be tackled in silos.

The pace of change varies across the UK's regions, necessitating tailored, whole-system solutions. Place-based decarbonisation has emerged as a promising strategy, recognising unique regional challenges and opportunities. It goes far beyond carbon reduction, envisioning a transformation of the built environments, economic landscape, and social dynamics.

Equans has developed a holistic, sustainable regeneration model integrating technical optimisation, blended funding, social impact maximisation, and legal and commercial innovation. This multifaceted approach aims not only to reduce carbon emissions but also to create lasting positive impacts on communities.

The strategy revolves around four interconnected solutions:

  1. Systems Optimisation: Focusing on optimising technical systems like low carbon infrastructure and renewable energy integration to accelerate the path to net zero.
  2. Blended Funding: Combining central government grants, local stakeholder capital, and private finance to ensure financial resilience and inclusivity in sustainability projects.
  3. Social Impact Maximisation: Placing community engagement at its core, tailoring solutions to address community needs, fostering environmental stewardship and social cohesion.
  4. Legal and Commercial Innovation: Reshaping legal and commercial frameworks to support decarbonisation efforts, prioritizing long-term sustainability.

Success is measured across three key dimensions - economically, environmentally, and socially; anticipating job creation, reduced carbon emissions, improved air and water quality, and enhanced community well-being.

Place-based decarbonisation is a community-driven transformation, envisioning resilient, thriving places that serve as models for a sustainable future.

Read more at Equans