Photo of kettle from above
Dr Siobhán Jordan smiling

By Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director, Interface

The lead up to COP26 is now in full swing with many ways of participating in events and exhibitions either in person or online.  With so much talk and debate about who is attending, what world leaders need to agree and what actually might emerge; it might be easy to switch off and think that is not for me. 

But let’s consider what each of us can actually do – one step at a time.   

Commitment from each of us to make a change in what we accept as common place

  • During a recent informal chat with Prof Wilson Poon, University of Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership, I was struck by the results from a student project on optimal ways of saving energy and the humble kettle as the most used electrical appliance in most homes. In fact, the Energy Saving Trust reckons the average household boils the kettle 1,500 times every year, so an energy efficient kettle and boiling only the water needed is now top of my daily commitments.  

Optimism – each of our individual commitments will make a difference

  • Tackling climate change and achieving net zero goals can be delivered hand-in-hand with the benefits and opportunities that create a wealthier, healthier and equal society.   Setting ourselves on a carbon reduction course will set the world on a safe and sustainable trajectory and support the most vulnerable.  Just like my childhood savings of pennies in a jar that mounted up,  I do remain optimistic that little things like walking instead of taking the car can make a real difference.   

Partnerships – will bring prosperity for people and the planet

  • Every day I am inspired by the sheer variety of knowledge exchange partnerships that the team @ Interface are enabling.  From trialling disruptive technologies, to dealing with waste,  from protecting and improving natural capital and biodiversity to empowering greater knowledge of individual carbon footprints; academics and organizations are working together through productive partnerships to make a real difference.

26 miles (+385 yards) make up a marathon

  • which is a good reminder that tackling climate change and net zero goals is a marathon and not a sprint.  But wouldn’t it be great if everyone felt really proud about their daily commitments to carbon reduction and we all encouraged one another to change one step at a time. 

COP26 may be a brief moment in time in 2021 but commitment, optimism and partnerships can be a lasting legacy for a #justtransition.  


27 October 2021