Futurebuild announces 2022 conference programme

Practical advice on achieving COP26 objectives

The built environment has been given twelve months to turn climate pledges into significant action to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C. To encourage transformational change, Futurebuild, the sustainable built environment event, has announced its 2022 conference programme. Now that COP26 has established what we need to do, the sessions at the conference will explore how to make the necessary changes at scale to take the industry from ambition to net zero.

From March 1 to 3 at ExCeL London, the Futurebuild 2022 conference, sponsored by the Construction Innovation Hub, will explore some of the key questions and issues to close the gap between net zero ambition and delivery. It invites panels of industry experts to share their experience and put forward proposals on eleven selected topics, including an action programme beyond COP26, the regulation of embodied carbon, resource efficiency, financial considerations, levelling up and retrofitting.

The first session on day one focuses on action plans — Beyond COP 26: our action programme. The physical impacts of climate change that we are already experiencing highlight the need for developing long-term resilience at the same time as reducing emissions, restoring natural resources and biodiversity, ensuring a sustainable food supply and recognising the impacts of climate change on human health and wellbeing. This session will focus on the actions that the UK construction industry will be taking – starting now.

“There is no simple, off the shelf solution to reaching net zero, but there is a growing understanding of what needs to be done,” explained Shaun Spiers, executive director at Green Alliance and chair of the Beyond COP26 arena session. “There is an almost universal recognition that we must aim to limit global heating. The next year will give us a much clearer idea of whether the outcomes of COP26 can shift the course of the world’s economy or whether it was ‘blah blah blah’.”

“We have had a difficult and uncertain time since Futurebuild 2020 and the impact of the pandemic and the opportunities and urgencies for COP26 have been explored in a number of webinars during this time,” explained Sue James, Edge member, “As our thoughts turn to COP27, we have clearly established what we need to do and must now focus on how to do it at scale’. The opportunities to change are here, do we have the courage to act on them?

On days two and three, the 2022 conference programme topics include raising aspirations — leading by example to make change happen, resolving energy supply and demand and living in a sustainable relationship with nature. In each session a panel of experts will explore the key questions and issues to help the built environment sector take the action needed for us to achieve 100 per cent net zero emissions by 2050. The programme will conclude with a conversation between architect, Peter Clegg and engineer, Hanif Kara, and Hattie Hartman of the Architects’ Journal on the future of building design in our climate and ecologically challenged world.

To find out the full conference programme and list of speakers for Futurebuild 2022, visit www.futurebuild.co.uk/conference-programme-overview/. Don’t forget to register for the event here.