There is under a decade to act to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

To honour the Paris Agreement and to limit the average global temperature rise to well below 2°C (endeavouring to keep it below 1.5°C), we must reduce global carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050. Professionals have a duty to protect the public interest and are stepping up to help secure a sustainable future with a sense of urgency.

As professional bodies, our registrants and members look to us to provide strong leadership, providing up-to-date technical & ethical guidance and advocating for their work & that of the wider profession. Many professional bodies have already responded with a high level of ambition through the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign and its partner initiatives like the Pledge to Net Zero.

Building on these initiatives, this charter aims to leverage greater collective ambition through interdisciplinary coordination; in particular:

The need to act now means today’s workforce is critical for a successful transition to a net zero economy. We can ensure they are prepared with up-to-date continuing professional development (CPD) resources; we aim to work together to ensure a holistic approach and develop a common language of sustainability between professions.

The pathways to net zero require the transformation of infrastructures governed by multiple professions. They are also defined by the intersection of the other challenging issues, such as navigating planetary boundaries, environmental protection and social justice. Given our role in protecting the interests of the wider public through our members and leadership, it is up to us to demonstrate up-to-date and evidence-led guidance on these interdisciplinary issues.
Effective climate action often requires policy support or interdisciplinary cooperation. We can most effectively advocate for cooperation by developing a unified voice and by joining ours with the voices of our counterparts, in other professions and other countries.

In light of these opportunities for action, we pledge to:

Chart the path to sustainability for our members, by:
  1. Developing Climate Action Plans setting out how we will support and enable our members to achieving practice in line with the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals,
  2. Reporting on our participation and progress towards Action Plan targets publicly each year,
  3. Sharing resources to ensure the Action Plans are based in current, holistic expertise;
Speak with a unified voice to and with professional bodies, government and the public by:
  1. Creating a professional bodies forum for interdisciplinary learning, cooperation and action,
  2. Championing the role and representation of professionals in climate action to government,
  3. Growing our voice by inviting our international counterpart bodies to join us.
Empower and inspire our members to drive sustainable growth, by:
  1. Surveying our members to understand their sustainability resource and training needs,
  2. Jointly providing a set of common CPD tools and principles, smoothing the development of CPD resources, for each profession, that account for interdisciplinary sustainability issues,
  3. Making plans and taking rapid action to reduce our emissions in line with 1.5 °C of warming;
The COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, coupled with the ever-increasing focus on environmental emergencies, present us with a once-in-a-generation chance to create a greener, fairer and more prosperous society. We believe that our actions will help lay the foundations for this transformation.