Connect with Daniel
Daniel Johns is Head of Public Affairs at Anglian Water. He currently chairs the National Flood Forum and the steering group for the UK Water Efficiency Strategy.
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.
Daniel joined Anglian Water in 2018 after 15 years working on climate and environment policy at Defra and the Climate Change Committee. He currently chairs the National Flood Forum and the steering group for the UK Water Efficiency Strategy. He became a CIWEM Fellow in 2020.
"COP26 simply has to succeed if we are to have any chance of meeting the goal agreed in Paris to limit global average temperature increases to as close to 1.5°C as possible. As the Climate Change Committee set out in its third five-yearly UK Climate Change Risk Assessment in June, even rich industrialised nations like the UK will struggle to adapt to the three to five degrees of warming that we currently face. That’s not a scenario we can possibly allow our children’s generation to suffer.
"Every country has to arrive in Glasgow having set itself binding targets consistent with achieving net zero by the middle of this century. The UK led the world with the Climate Change Act in 2008, and setting its net zero target in 2019. But like others it has no credible plan to get there. And it is still making policy decisions that will make the task ever harder.
"At Anglian Water, we’re doing all we can to tackle the climate emergency. We will become a net zero business by 2030, and are publishing a step-by-step plan as part of a cross-water industry commitment. We were also the first organisation to publish a third Adaptation Report at Defra’s request, describing how we are working to reduce the impacts of climate change on our customers in the east of England. In the next five years this means developing plans for two major new reservoirs, building a 500km water pipeline, and rolling out smart meters to help customers use less water. We are also working in partnership to invest in community flood projects, retrofit SuDS, and promote integrated water management in new development.
"It’s very important to me that I work for a leading organisation when it comes to climate change. But actions by individuals and businesses can only go so far. The big strides need to be taken by global leaders, recognising that COP26 is the moment to mark a decisive and genuine shift toward net zero."
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