The Climate Crisis Challenge offers an opportunity to highlight the risk of climate change and plethora of available solutions to take carbon out of our lives.

Claudine Blamey

Property Week can reach beyond the converted by highlighting the ambitious net zero carbon strategies being implemented across the built environment sector.

The business case is clear. Consumers, governments, occupiers and investors are all finally seeing climate change as a big threat to society.

As an owner, developer and manager, we see it as a fundamental responsibility to ensure our developments are net zero carbon and deliver value for all stakeholders and society as a whole.

We recently affirmed this commitment in a partnership with Barnet Council, where Argent Related is developing a net zero carbon town by 2030.

With everyone focused on combating the short-term impact of Covid-19, there is a danger that climate change will be sidelined. As a part of the ‘Build Back Better’ campaign, it is crucial to bring climate change back into the centre of focus.

We need to use the opportunity to deliver climate change solutions that are inclusive

If we miss this critical moment, we are in danger of not making the vital progress needed to meet Paris Agreement commitments to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, or preferably 1.5 degrees, compared with pre-industrial levels.

The impacts of Covid-19 have been significant on health, the economy and society.

As with many other diseases, Covid-19 has a more severe impact on vulnerable groups including older people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and those living in deprived areas.

Inclusive solutions

We need to ensure we use the opportunity, in this time of transformational change, to deliver climate change solutions that are inclusive. They must benefit communities and the whole of society, not just those who can afford it.

One of the great changes in the past year has been the increase of neighbourliness and communities coming together and helping each other. Unless we work in partnership and collaboratively, we will not be able to tackle the huge challenge of climate change. We need to work with our supply chain, occupiers and local authorities to develop net zero places and help society flourish.

Health and wellbeing was a major trend and agenda before Covid-19 and going forward will be even bigger. People wanting a better work-life balance and using technology to achieve this has been one of the biggest realisations of the past 12 months. This new way of working has the potential to reduce carbon impacts and footprints on the environment as a whole.

The Climate Crisis Challenge raised a huge amount of awareness last year. This year it needs to do more; it is about driving change and shining a light on those that are innovating, collaborating and developing the solutions that help combat the threat of climate change.

Claudine Blamey is head of sustainability and digital strategy at Argent Related