Physics, climate change and sustainability
Physics and physicists are playing a vital role in helping meet the challenge of climate change.
Combating climate change and building a thriving, environmentally-sustainable economy presents us with enormous challenges, as well as opportunities. The forthcoming COP26 Conference in Glasgow emphasises the urgency of this task and the scale of the difficulties we face. To cut carbon emissions and other damaging pollution we need new technologies which can cut emissions and bring new sources of energy into affordable use.
Physicists have a crucial role to play in this work and are responsible for innovations ranging from low-energy computing to breakthroughs in solar and wind power and the battery technology which is needed to store energy drawn from new sources. The IOP and its allied physical societies across the world are committed to supporting physicists in this work, and in ensuring they have the investment, networks and working environment they need to succeed in this vital endeavour.
- Join our members as they explore the physics that can help solve climate change - Physics and the green economy, 22-25 November 2021
- Attend a virtual conference with leading environmental experts addressing challenges relating to the environment and sustainability - Environmental Research 2021, 15-19 November 2021
- See our detailed statement on climate change (PDF, 140KB)
- Listen to our series of podcasts about the role of physics in powering a new green economy
The IOP and its greenhouse gas emissions
We recognise we have a role to play in cutting harmful emissions. We have started work on measuring our carbon footprint with a view to reducing it. Our new London headquarters at 37 Caledonian Road has been designed to minimise its environmental impact, with solar panels on the roof to generate electricity, rain water recycling and innovative heat pumps which draw energy from underground for heating. Additional electricity we use at the building is also drawn entirely from sustainable sources.
The IOP’s investment policy
We are reviewing our investment policy with a view to better using our financial resources to combat climate change.