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‘A Sustainable Events Industry by 2050’

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‘A Sustainable Events Industry by 2050’

A roundtable held last week underlined the importance of creating a roadmap for a more sustainable events industry, in line with the objectives laid out by the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the organisation which takes on responsibility for the global push to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

The meeting, which was convened by UK based Positive Impact Events, bought together experts from the UNFCCC, as well as representatives from the British Standards institute, VisitEngland, VisitBritain and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events. The UNFCCC has already worked with both the sporting and fashion industries to help create frameworks that will see these sectors reach the carbon targets set out in the Paris agreement.

However, one of the major barriers to success is a funding gap that exists to drive the project forward alongside the events industry and in partnership with the UNFCCC. Positive Impact Events has identified the need for around £30,000 worth of investment that will finance a task force and the human power needed to create a framework for use primarily in the UK industry, before being replicated around the world.

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, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events underlined that, while the main priority of the group was to help the industry on it its feet again, it was ‘striking’ that public interest in ‘environmental matters’ had been ‘undimmed’ by the pandemic.

Positive Impact Events now looks to work in partnership with the industries key associations to bridge for 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.