July 11th 2024

Net-Zero Week UK - How do we take action?

Net-Zero Week UK - How do we take action?

This week marks Net-Zero Week, the UK’s official national awareness week and biggest net-zero conference. Running for the 4th consecutive year, its aim is to highlight the challenges we face in getting to net-zero and provide advice on what we as businesses and citizens can do to help us get there. 

As we know, Climate Change is the biggest threat to humanity and the pace of global warming is increasing at an alarming rate. The latest WMO State of the Global Climate report confirmed 2023 as the hottest year on record by a clear margin, with greenhouse gas concentrations also reaching record highs. Weeks like the UK’s Net-Zero week are great for highlighting the problem, raising awareness and telling us what we need to do, but they rarely get down to the detail of ‘how’ we decarbonise.

Getting to Net Zero

We know that getting to net-zero is no easy feat. Understanding climate change and figuring out how to navigate the path to net-zero can be a minefield, particularly when it comes to buildings. There are so many factors to consider, and the dynamic, ever-changing nature of buildings further adds to the problem, meaning working out a net-zero strategy can be extremely overwhelming. Where do you start? 

It’s important to seek out solutions that can provide you with reliable information to help weigh up the various options available to you, de-risking the decisions you need to make along the path to net-zero. and verifying that carbon reductions are achieved. There will be no “one size fits all” solution to climate change, but with the right tools, capable of transforming the vast amount of data now available to us into information, we can move forward knowing that our decisions have been based on intelligent, reliable and well-informed insights to maximise our impact.

Digital Twins offer a solution to support this approach. Leveraging a powerful combination of physics-based simulation, real-time data, machine learning and AI, our technology helps to create a dynamic virtual replica which is scalable from a single building to an entire campus, city or portfolio. Responding and behaving like its real-world counterpart to provide detailed insights across a range of building performance metrics and empowering informed decisions on how to reduce energy, lower costs and work towards net-zero goals. Such tools can help building stakeholders be more proactive in addressing the issue of decarbonisation, allowing them to drive operational efficiencies, track progress towards targets, measure and verify results, and test which retrofit or improvement investments are the best in any given situation.

The Urgent Need for Action

Whilst weeks like Net-Zero Week are encouraging and help highlight the issue, what we need now is much more urgent action. In recent months, we have seen major net-zero targets scrapped in Scotland, while the UK’s progress on scaling up climate action as a whole has been dubbed “worryingly slow.” And whilst the new Labour government has promised big changes to the country’s climate policies – including a pledge to reach zero-carbon power by 2030 – it remains to be seen whether they can actually deliver. It is vital that our political leaders are held to account on these promises and that more vigorous climate action is set into motion, across all levels of industry and society, wherever possible.

We can’t continue to follow the status quo without expecting to see some devastating consequences. There is now little time for error, but technologies like ours are working hard to eliminate the risk.

Find out for yourself how IES technology can support your route to net-zero