Welcome message from Jan Walstrom, Senior Vice President, Office of Global Climate Response and ESG
Securing a livable and sustainable future for all.
In October of 2021, prior to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26), Jacobs launched its second issue of Reimagined Perspectives with a focus on energy transition and decarbonization.
In this issue, we’re shining a light on adaptation, with Article 7 of the Paris Agreement defining the global goal of enhancing adaptive capacity and resilience and reducing vulnerability with a view to contributing to sustainable development.
While significant actions are underway to limit global warming through carbon reduction measures, countries, cities, communities and businesses also need to accelerate their efforts to adapt to climate change impacts that are already occurring, as well as prepare for future climate change scenarios.
This call to action was put forward in stark terms with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II report, Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.
Employing a systems approach that examines the interactions among climate, ecosystems and human society, IPPC scientists portray a world facing unavoidable multiple climate hazards during the next two decades with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (equivalent to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). And they conclude that even temporarily exceeding this warming level may result in additional severe impacts, some of which could be irreversible.
A bleak future?
Beyond 2040, depending on the level of global warming, future generations could be inheriting a planetary environment full of numerous risks to natural and human systems.
The positive message in the IPCC report is that adaptation measures can be effective in reducing climate risks and establishing resilience, “with a focus on transformation and system transitions in energy; land, ocean, coastal and freshwater ecosystems; urban, rural and infrastructure; and industry and society. These transitions make possible the adaptation required for high levels of human health and wellbeing, economic and social resilience, ecosystem health, and planetary health.”
With this issue of Reimagined Perspectives, we touch on several of these adaptation measures in the areas of OneWater, Precision Agriculture, Public Health & Wellbeing, Biomimicry + Engineering With Nature, Adaptation Design, Circular Economy and Smart Transport Planning.
Adaptation is critical
The takeaway is planning and adapting ahead of potential threats can help reduce climate change impacts; strengthen and safeguard communities; improve public health; enhance biodiversity and ecosystem resilience; protect energy, water and transportation assets; secure supply chains; fuel economic growth; and ensure a more vibrant, prosperous future for generations to come.
Accelerating and sustaining adaptation in human systems and ecosystems, while fully incorporating equity and justice considerations, requires a global all-hands approach — mobilizing the science, skills and financial resources of the public and private sectors.
Doing our part
As an essential component of our new strategy, boldly moving forward, Jacobs has established the Office of Global Climate Response and ESG to further our commitment to addressing the climate emergency. We're targeting 100% of Jacobs projects to contribute to climate response or ESG by 2025.
Additionally, Jacobs recently became the first professional consultancy and one of the world’s first companies with net-zero targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). With our updated Climate Action Plan, we're committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the value chain by 2040, and to maintain carbon neutrality status and 100% low-carbon electricity for operations. The plan also details our commitment to accelerating a transition to net zero that is equitable and just.
“Any further delay in concerted anticipatory global action on adaptation and mitigation will miss a brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all.”
In this issue
OneWater Because every drop counts.
Precision Agriculture Sustainable practices for food security.
Public Health & Wellbeing Climate change is taking a toll on our health.
Biomimicry + Engineering With Nature Working with our natural environment to create harmonious solutions.
Adaptation Design A roadmap for creating resilient waterfronts.
Circular Economy Closing the circle: challenging how we think about our consumer economy.
Smart Transport Planning Carbon neutrality demands data-driven transport planning.