IPMA International Project Management Association
11 April 2016 / 8:27

How can PM raise awareness on climate changes?

There is “evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities”. This warming has been termed climate change, a general phrase that is used to refer to the changes in the Earth’s climate anticipated to occur as a consequence of the release and accumulation in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities. As a result of climate change, changes are occurring in the whole pattern of the weather, with the extent and nature of change differing from country to country, and region to region. Added heat stress, shifting monsoons, and drier soils may reduce yields by as much as a third in the tropics and subtropics, where crops are already near their maximum heat tolerance. It is now generally accepted that the global climate is changing as a result of human activity. Current state of best practice among International Finance Institutions and the UN organisations are working in order to raise awareness on climate changes trough development plans and actions. But still, livestock emissions have not yet been addressed by global decision-making institutions.

Climate change awareness is raising globally, from Europe, China, Brazil to Korea, and they are addressing these issues, first through stimulus programmes, and now more and more through concrete action plans to promote the “low carbon economy”. In the coming years, implementing these pledges will be a key step in globalizing climate change policies. The EU Commission recently proposed the Europe 2020 flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe and within this framework it is now putting forward a series of long-term policy plans in areas such as transport, energy and climate change. The approach is based on the view that innovative solutions are required to mobilize investments in energy, transport, industry and information and communication technologies, and that more focus is needed on energy efficiency policies. In order to keep climate change below 2ºC, the European Council reconfirmed in February 2011 the EU objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990.

From the financial aspect, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, as well as dedicated funding in the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework should play a role in providing additional financing for energy efficient and low carbon technologies. Other financial institutions worldwide, such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) are also undertaking pioneering work to mainstream climate resilience and adaptation. Investments today will determine the future competitiveness of economies. In this context, it is interesting to note the much larger shares of GDP allocated to investments in China (48%), India (35%), and Korea (26%) in 2009, showing emerging economies’ need to build up infrastructure but also the potential in leapfrogging towards a competitive, low carbon economy. Investing early in the low carbon economy would stimulate a gradual structural change in the economy and can create in net terms new jobs both in the short-term and the medium-term.

There needs to be a focus on practice innovation, supported by knowledge transfer, financial incentives, regulations, and awareness raising of climate changes. Particularly important, better policies are needed to facilitate the transfer and use of efficient practices and technologies already adopted by a minority of producers and to encourage the development of new solutions.

The world can make more for climate changes awareness by developing global standards. For instance, ISO is collaborating globally to update and extend its climate change standards and help the world minimize and adapt to the effects of climate change. ISO has produced over 570 environment-related standards, including those that monitor climate change, quantify GHG emissions and promote good practice in environmental management and design. These standards can help stakeholders address climate change and support the efforts of developed and developing countries in relation to mitigation and adaptation. ISO has a family of standards, including ISO 14064 and ISO 14065, that help organizations to quantify their greenhouse gas emissions and communicate on them, while others, such as ISO 14001 and ISO 50001, help promote good practice in environmental and energy management.

Practical experience with climate action projects is crucial for developing knowledge in addressing this important topic of climate changes. IPMA offers practical tools and approaches, like IPMA ICB4, IPMA PEB and IPMA OCB to help make sense of planning, organisation and control of project, programme and portfolio management. Those approaches might be used to approach climate changes matter. As organization that holds its position over 50 years, IPMA is international actor in the project planning and execution architecture. PM profession is developing Climate change project manager profiles, who are able to provide specialist advice on climate risks, vulnerability, project success and activities from individual projects or programmes throughout the whole project cycle. The project management profession is raising awareness on the climate change matter, what do you do in your country?

1 Comment

  • Avatar michele says:

    The approach toward a green world: address issues, first through stimulus programmes, and more and more through concrete action plans to promote the “low carbon economy”.

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Sandra Misic

Author of this post

Sandra currently works as Assistant to the IPMA President and Executive Director. Since joining IPMA in 2012, Sandra worked in FMCG sector for Procter&Gamble. She holds Master in Economics from Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb. After graduation she continued at the same University the doctoral programme in Business Economics. Her particular research interest is behavioral economics.