ICSI Round-up at COP26

ICSI Programme Director Savina Carluccio (second from left) takes part in the Marrakech Partnership Resilience Action Event at COP26, representing ICSI as a Partner Initiative of the Race to Resilience.

ICSI was proud to be on-the-ground at COP26, taking part in a number of events, championing the Race to Resilience campaign and launching several new initiatives. Below is a round-up of key ICSI announcements that we hope will drive engineering action on climate change and build sustainability and resilience for infrastructure.

Race to Resilience

ICSI took part in two Race to Resilience sessions run by the Climate Champions team at COP26. In these sessions, we shared our ambitions for the ICSI Race to Resilience initiative, which focusses on mobilising the engineering community to build and enhance climate resilience of infrastructure through their daily practice. We also outlined our plans for sharing knowledge, experiences and solutions on climate risk management as well as climate resilience and adaptation. This will strengthen and build future collaboration and investments into resilience, enabling and empowering infrastructure specialists to embed climate resilience in their day-to-day work.

Additionally, we announced our pledge to improve the climate resilience of 567m people in vulnerable and frontline communities, which amounts to almost ¼ of the overall target for the Race to Resilience campaign. Rather than feeling daunted, we feel excited that we have the chance to make such a big contribution.

ICSI will deliver this impact through strategic partnerships and deep collaboration. We are working to bring together critical players under a collective vision around sustainable and resilient infrastructure and climate action. These include:

  • Cities and Infrastructure Owners/Operators – those with the demand and decision-making power provide a pipeline of projects as well as the most pressing needs that require engineering action.
  • Engineering Associations – those developing guidance and standards and with access to a global pool of engineers.
  • Engineering private sector organisations – those who do ‘the lifting and shifting’, delivering the critical projects that will ensure a more resilient, carbon neutral future. They hold the real-world technical expertise, invest in innovation and are key to delivering large-scale impact at pace.

ICSI will mobilize these groups through advocacy, thought leadership, knowledge creation and curation, and delivery of demonstrator projects.

Through the American Society of Civil Engineers and the UK Institution of Civil Engineers, both of which are Founding Members of ICSI, we have access to the biggest network of engineers in the world, influencing the work of over 200,000 engineers in 175+ countries. Because of this, we have an unparalleled opportunity to act as a catalyst for engaging with the engineering community on the global agenda for climate action and resilience-building. Our Race to Resilience campaign therefore has huge potential to deliver transformative change at scale.

Our vision for 2030 is that the engineering community will have contributed to making the important decisions on locking in climate resilience and adaptation in infrastructure development. We will have tracked the impact through the projects delivered and – as a result – over 500m people in cities and frontline communities and natural systems will be more resilient to climate change.

This not just a utopia, it is within our reach and we can make it a reality through deep collaboration and action.

Engineering organisations or infrastructure owners and operators who share this vision, please join the Race to Resilience through ICSI. Find out more here.

Among other initiatives, we have also committed to rolling out our flagship Infrastructure Pathways knowledge resource to three main cities in Africa and South East Asia, which will contribute to meeting our pledge goal.

Infrastructure Pathways

We are excited to have launched the Infrastructure Pathways initiative at COP26. This is an ICSI initiative, led by the Resilience Shift and developed in partnership with Arup. Infrastructure Pathways is a resource for practitioners in search of clear, easy-to-navigate guidance on climate-resilient infrastructure. It aims to brings clarity and consistency in an otherwise confusing and fragmented landscape of existing resources by organising, linking and distilling existing guidance into actionable statements. It provides practical, mutually-reinforcing actions in each phase of infrastructure development, and creates a ‘golden thread’ across systems and practitioners.

Using Infrastructure Pathways will foster more informed decision-making, improved coordination and better collective impact from practitioners across the infrastructure lifecycle to better manage climate risk and embed climate resilience and adaptation. The web-based resource is a living platform that will evolve as new resources become available, and, in time, it will foster a community of practice.

You can explore Infrastructure Pathways here.

ICE Brunel Series

All this knowledge and best practice will be shared on a global scale through co-hosting the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Brunel Lecture Series. The series will provide a platform for dialogue with high-profile leaders across the globe, sharing knowledge and best practice such as Infrastructure Pathways, while focusing on practical engineering issues and tackling climate change at the local level to help deliver transformative change. The next series will start in September 2022 and over 18 months, will deliver six regional events and post-event roundtable discussions.