CIWEM President's blog: Engaging the public to tackle our climate and ecological emergency 

Energy & Climate Change, Natural Environment

Engaging the public to tackle our climate and ecological emergency 

This month, I had the pleasure of attending two CIWEM events both of which gave me the opportunity to discuss my presidential theme of how we can mobilise CIWEM’s members and the wider public into action, to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

I was honoured to deliver the keynote address at the UDG Autumn conference, the theme of which was Working in Partnership to Unlock Climate Resilience. I was reminded that CIWEM is an industry-leader when it comes to climate adaption and the UDG has, for the past 35 years, delivered on its objective to advance the science and practice of urban drainage management for the public benefit. The group provides thought leadership in the design and implementation of adaptation solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.

These themes felt particularly important at the conference given that in the same week there was major flooding across England, which resulted in loss of life, as well as extensive flooding of properties and disruption of rail services.These extreme weather events are unfolding just as predicted by climate scientists and underline the urgency and importance of climate adaptation and resilience.

The Republic of Ireland annual dinner gave me the opportunity to discuss climate and ecological emergency with a diverse range of members and guests attending. I was impressed to see there was a significant number of young professionals at the event, as well as the President of the Northern Ireland branch. I had many interesting discussions with members regarding the story that I want us to tell, which is how we can decarbonise our economies and reach net zero carbon emissions.

I am looking forward to further engagement with CIWEM’s members, to share thoughts on how we adopt an advocacy role, to actively promote this story of how we reverse global heating.

My challenge to our members and environmental professionals attending our events and my question to you now is: how can you step up and provide leadership to the public in tackling this emergency?

By David McHugh

CIWEM President

Share this article

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