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April 24, 2014

Chemical engineers to support ‘Trillion Tonne Communiqué’

Posted by Gerald Ondrey

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE; Rugby, U.K.; has given its support to the Trillion Tonne Communiqué — a global call to arms from organizations who take the science of climate change seriously and demand a proactive policy response.

The Communiqué has been produced by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) — a group of business leaders from major U.K., E.U., and international organizations who believe new and longer-term policies are urgently needed to tackle climate change.

The trillion tonnes relates to the maximum amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that can be emitted into the atmosphere to limit global warming to 2°C or less. Current estimates suggest that total CO2 emissions will reach 1 trillion metric tons (tonnes) in just 30 years.

The Trillion Tonne Communiqué is already supported by more than 1,000 organizations in over 60 countries and, in summary, calls for:

•  A timeline for reducing emissions to net zero

•  A completely transformed energy system

•  A clear and focussed plan to manage the use of fossil fuels

•  An increase in the pace and scale of change to mitigate climate change

•  Climate change to be integrated into national and corporate risk management

IChemE’s support for the Communiqué follows publication on 13 April 2014 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) third report: Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change, which called for a major shift towards renewable energy and an increase in the use of natural gas to help bridge the transition away from fossil fuels.

IChemE deputy president, Geoff Maitland — a professor of energy engineering at Imperial College London — says: “We need to keep climate change high on the political agenda and use the full force of science to make an unequivocal and undeniable case for urgent and significant action to halt the damage being inflicted by climate change on future generations.

“As the global professional body for chemical and process engineers, IChemE has an important role in the battle against climate change and the transformation of our energy systems.

“Alongside this, chemical engineers are playing a key role in providing the technical solutions for accelerated low carbon energy provision and enhanced energy efficiency that are needed to turn the Communiqué’s action plan into reality.

“The Trillion Tonne Communiqué is a way for organisations and business to give their public support and bring pressure to bear on policy- and decision-makers around the world, and IChemE is pleased to give it its full support.”

The role of chemical engineers in the health, water, food and energy sectors is explored in IChemE’s latest technical strategy, Chemical Engineering Matters.

Source: IChemE,



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