The world is facing a climate crisis. Carbon released to the Earth’s atmosphere by human activity since the Industrial Revolution is trapping heat, causing the planet’s temperature to rise. Global average temperatures have already risen 1°C since the Industrial Revolution, resulting in more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing sea ice. This is reflected in the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2020, which states that climate-related risks are among WEF’s top 10 risks for likelihood and consequence. Science tells us that if emissions are not reduced, these risks will intensify, with catastrophic results.
To avoid a climate catastrophe, the IPCC recommends reducing GHGs to limit global temperature rise to 1.5° C, a standard adopted by 195 signatory nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the Paris Agreement. To achieve this, global human-caused GHG emissions would need to fall by about 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels, and reach “net zero” by 2050, meaning we must remove as much carbon as we emit each year. Humanity currently releases more than 50 billion tonnes of GHGs each year. At this rate, the 1.5° C limit may be exceeded as soon as 2030. Jacobs recognizes that we must act now to reduce emissions.
While 195 nations have signed the Paris Agreement, it will take more than government action to meet this challenge. Every organization and individual must play their part. Companies, as employers, community leaders and citizens must take responsibility for their emissions and seek not only to meet the Paris Agreement goals, but also be part of a broader solution. To do this, business growth must be decoupled from carbon emissions.
Climate resilience is a principal risk for Jacobs and our clients. We are a leading provider of climate risk and resiliency consulting services. We have begun an initiative to screen all new Jacobs projects for climate-related risks and to address these in conjunction with our clients, where they are material. An initial screening of 65 of our largest projects across geographies and client sectors has helped to uncover the extent to which our projects are exposed to climate risk and how we are working with our clients to address these. This work formed part of our initial response to recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and are incorporated in Section 10 of this plan.
The purpose of this Climate Action Plan is to acknowledge the recommendations of the IPCC and describe measures we are taking to address climate change and resiliency. The urgency of climate change is recognized in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 13 calls for “urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.” This Climate Action Plan describes our support and implementation of SDG 13, while recognizing the need to work together with our clients, communities and partners, to address climate change for a better tomorrow.
“What humans do over the next
50 years will determine the fate of all life on the planet.”
Broadcaster and Natural Historian