Climate Change, Hazards and Digitalisation

Article by Sam Wilkinson

ON 5 July, IChemE published its draft climate change position statement for member consultation. IChemE’s Strategy 2024 clearly states that the Institution’s vision is to be led by members, supporting members, and serving society. The Learned Society Committee tasked the IChemE Energy Centre to lead the development of an IChemE Climate change position statement. The Energy Centre appointed a task group to author the statement, which requested members’ contributions via groups including the special interest groups, members groups,  and regional boards.

IChemE’s statement is based on nine principles that demonstrate how the position and activity of IChemE and the chemical engineering profession will aim to serve society. These align IChemE with the position of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the 2015 Paris Agreement of the need to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5oC  of pre-industrial levels to prevent catastrophic consequences. At the same time, the statement endorses the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that in the need to address climate change, no one is left behind. 

Chemical engineers have the knowledge and tools, as well as a responsibility, to apply systems thinking, to use the best available  techniques. They also need to pursue innovation to help deliver a transition to net zero by 2050 at the necessary pace. Education, training, skills, and re-skilling are essential to achieve this.  

The position statement commits IChemE – the organisation and its members – to action and promises to report progress annually. This will include work to engage with and inform governments, industry, academia as well as public outreach. 

To support members, IChemE will continue to develop education and training and promote key technologies and techniques. Activity and recognition will align with the need to champion progress to a zero-carbon economy and delivering the UN SDGs. The Institution will also develop and report on plans, targets and progress to reduce its own emissions and review its own investments. 

All members can now access the draft statement ( and complete the consultation survey, the results of which will be channelled through their respective SIGs or members groups. This will provide each member with the opportunity to comment on the principles, context and commitments contained within the statement. The consultation is open until 28 August. 

Members should check their IChemE emails for the links to the survey, or contact

All member feedback will be considered through the relevant SIGs and MGs, and the finalised IChemE statement will be reviewed by the Learned Society Committee and then the Board of Trustees. The statement will be published before the end of 2020. 

Article by Sam Wilkinson

Sam Wilkinson AMIChemE, Communications Lead, Learned Society Committee

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