In the run up to the globe's most important meeting on climate change, the #CIWEMtalksCOP26 series asks thought leaders from the water and environmental industry and beyond to answer a common question: what do you most want COP26 to deliver? Here we'll be serialising their answers.

Amanda Skeldon is Campaign Manager is Climate Action at Business in the Community and Technical Lead for the IGNITION project. Amanda manages Business in the Community’s (BITC) campaigns on climate resilience and nature-based solutions. BITC is largest and longest-established business-led membership organisation dedicated to responsible business.

As Technical Lead for stakeholder engagement on the multi-partner IGNITION project, Amanda is driving engagement with communities, business, local and national government, academic and financial institutions to create the systemic change necessary for urban nature-based solutions to become an established part of urban infrastructure.

The IGNITION project is a collaboration of twelve partners, led by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, that is working to identify innovative finance for nature-based solutions to the climate emergency.

"Achieving net zero is understandably a priority for UK PLC and at Business in the Community (BITC), we are encouraging and supporting our members to set their sights as close to 2030 as possible. But we also know that the impacts of climate breakdown are with us already.

"So we are calling on businesses to set their net zero carbon targets within a climate action plan that puts addressing the risks and opportunities at the heart of business as usual. And, crucially, making sure that every climate action plan is created in collaboration with diverse stakeholders; ensuring that outcomes are inclusive and part of a Just Transition that creates benefits for people and nature.

"Acknowledging that our climate is already changing and impacting on the planet drives an imperative to adapt the way we live and work accordingly. BITC is working with partners on the IGNITION project to understand the role that nature-based solutions can play in helping to build resilience to the effects of climate change.

"What we want COP26 to deliver is a commitment to look beyond net zero carbon and climate mitigation, and to deliver a meaningful commitment to take action on adaptation. We want to see a call to action that recognizes that we are already living within a changed and changing planet.

"As the independent Climate Change Committee reported in June 2021, the UK is unprepared for the consequences of climate change and there is an urgent need to build the resilience of homes and infrastructure to cope with severe heatwaves and increased flood risk. Through IGNITION we are building evidence that supports the restoration of nature as a significant building block to increasing resilience.

"We would like to see COP26 build focus on the themes of nature and adaptation, acknowledging our reliance on nature and our lack of resilience to the irreversible impacts of climate change. We need to see clear, meaningful targets and commitments around adaptation and the establishment of a road map to investing in the restoration of nature to help us achieve this.

"Importantly we need to ensure that we build resilience at an individual, community, national and international level to ensure that those least able to cope with climate change are not the most affected."

Connect with Amanda

Connect with Amanda

Amanda Skeldon is Campaign Manager – Climate Action at Business in the Community.

Become a member

Whether you are studying, actively looking to progress your career, or already extensively experienced, our membership will add value and recognition to your achievements. We can actively help you progress throughout your career.

Become a member

View our events

We organise a wide portfolio of UK and international thought leading events, providing an industry recognised forum for debate, CPD and sector networking. These events also support our policy work and inform key initiatives.

View our events