By Kate Vincent, Principal Ecologist, Atkins
As the enormity of the climate crisis becomes clear, the best answers to restoring biodiversity and developing sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure often come from nature itself. Working together with nature, ecologists and engineers can create far more effective solutions - and a better chance of a stable climate.
In June 2019, parliament passed legislation requiring the government to reduce the UK’s net emissions of greenhouse gases by 100% relative to 1990 levels, by 2050. If the UK is to reach its Net Zero commitment, it’s not just about how we generate and use energy but also about how we build and manage our land too.
In some ways, it seems incredibly obvious: the best methods for healing the natural world come from nature itself. Yet nature-based solutions have only recently become a part of the discussion around climate change.
Natural areas are in decline, and for too long they have been perceived as an impediment to efficient development. But with the climate crisis escalating we can’t continue with ‘business as usual’. Ecologists must become joint partners with engineers and architects, creating developments that are not harmful to the natural world but are in harmony with it. Then we can begin to repair the damage done and prevent worse still in the future.