The UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) has met with event industry professions and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPGE) to identify a roadmap to the events industry becoming sustainable by 2050.
UK-based Positive Impact Events bought together experts from the UNFCCC, British Standards Institution, VisitEngland, VisitBritain and the APPGE to discuss ways in which the industry could move toward the carbon targets set out in the Paris agreement. The UNFCCC has already worked with both the sporting and fashion industries to help create frameworks to achieve that aim.
In the meeting it was established that one of the major barriers to success is a funding gap. Positive Impact Events has identified the need for around £30,000 worth of investment to finance a task force to create a framework for use primarily in the UK industry, before being replicated around the world.
It said that without funding, the UK events industry could fall behind other sectors of business in a year when one of the key climate change events takes place in the country; COP 26.
Miguel Naranjo, Programme Office at UNFCCC, referenced the UK’s hosting of COP 26, taking place in Glasgow later this year, as the incentive to “do it now”, with Fiona Pelham, CEO, Positive Impact Events, describing a future where the Prime Minister could announce to the world plans to make the UK events industry carbon neutral by 2050.
Mr Naranjo added that an “ambitious timeline” could see the framework set up in advance of COP 26 and that businesses within the industry could contribute in shaping how it could serve the wide diversity of organisations within the events industry.
He said, “It is voluntary and collaborative – but it needs to be ambitious: net-zero by 2050 is the basis. And it needs to be transparent, so everyone outside the sector can see what we are doing.”
Theresa Villiers (pictured), Chair of the APPGE said that while the main priority of the group was to help the industry get back on it its feet again, it was striking that public interest in environmental matters is undimmed by the pandemic.
Positive Impact Events said it is looking to work in partnership with the event industry’s key associations to bridge the £30,000 funding gap and take on the responsibility of working with the UNFCCC to create a “globally credible, sector specific, framework” for the events industry.