During yesterday’s assembly, Seniors were visited by Matt Pluke, a Sustainability Leader at Anglian Water. Currently, Mr Pluke is supporting one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK, tasked with shifting an excess supply of water from the northern part of the region to the south, where water is in short supply. In his role, he must make sure that this work is done sustainably, by protecting nature and making a positive impact in the communities that are affected.
Mr Pluke first talked about the environmental challenges being addressed by the Anglian Water project – namely drought and the impact on nature. He explained that projects like this are necessary in large part because the climate is changing; there’s less available water in the environment and so we have to use water wisely and move the available water to where it is most needed.
He then gave to the pupils a global perspective of climate change, explaining how average world temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius since the pre-industrial era, resulting in alarming trends like those described above, and are predicted to reach 2-4 degrees of warming by 2100. He shared scientists’ warnings that global temperatures must be kept well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial times and that we must ‘endeavour to limit’ them to 1.5 degrees.
The pupils learned about the worldwide efforts to achieve this, first with the 2015 Paris agreement—in which 200 countries agreed on a net zero emission of greenhouse gases by 2050—and then with the recent CO26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, where the nations who signed the Paris agreement were asked to show how they would achieve net zero emissions in their own countries.
Mr Pluke was able to attend the Glasgow conference as a representative of Anglian Water. There he talked about how the water sector in the UK became the first to commit to net zero by 2030, and shared how they are adapting and becoming more resilient to drought and flooding issues, in order to inspire other water industries and sectors in other countries to do the same.
In this video, Mr Pluke shares some encouraging news from COP26, although acknowledging there is still much work to be done. We would like to thank him for his generosity in helping us all be more informed about this important work.