Delivering a brighter future: balancing long term decarbonisation with short term challenges


In their recent insight, AtkinsRéalis outlined a few important steps that organisations can take to balance both long and short-term goals on the journey to net zero emissions.

The world is speeding up and becoming more complex; as we struggle to rebuild after COVID and numerous other global shocks, organisations and their employees also face pressures such as the cost of living, high energy costs, and increasing cyber and AI threats. Factor in the increasingly evident, damaging effects of climate change and you’re left with a potent mix. It’s easy to see why many organisations are prioritising short term challenges over complex, long-term issues like the decarbonisation of their operations.

Concerningly, if we start to take a longer-term view, over the next decade the increasingly severe threat from climate change and its impacts will dwarf these shorter term risks (as outlined by the World Economic Forum). We cannot afford to delay and take the short-term view; every day that we add more greenhouse gases (GHG) to the atmosphere, we reduce our window of opportunity to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and to ‘keep 1.5 alive’. Despite the recent weakening of many ‘green’ policies here in the UK, we must not weaken our resolve. As stated by the IEA, ‘there is no low international co-operation route to limit warming to 1.5 °C and no slow route either’.

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