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WSPs Rachel Skinner discusses climate change with engineers

WSP's Rachel Skinner discusses climate change with engineers

 September 28, 2021

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What are you going to do about climate change?' is something WSP Executive Director Rachel Skinner has been asking civil engineers throughout her year as the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)156th President.

She is once again challenging the construction industry in a new film as a follow up to her previous film Shaping Zero: The Big Questions.

Collaborating with climate change experts from around the world

In a follow up film to Shaping Zero, Rachel is speaking with experts from around the world about how civil engineers need to be reducing the carbon emissions from the building and use of infrastructure.

The film features a range of climate change experts, including Chris Stark, chief executive of the UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC), Gonzalo Muñoz, Conference of the Parties (COP) champion for Chile, and Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency.

“For some, it’s been genuinely shocking to realise that around 70% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions can be traced back to infrastructure,” says Rachel. “Small steps, every day, are what count.”

Asking the big questions about climate change

One of the ‘big questions’ asked in the film is how civil engineers can reduce the emissions from the use of infrastructure after it’s been built.

In her previous file, Shaping Zero: The Big Questions, Rachel explains the difference between ‘capital carbon’ and ‘operational carbon’, which refer to the carbon emissions from the build of infrastructure and the use of it, respectively. She also discusses the problem of steel and concrete, looking at an example of where low carbon options are being used, and explores carbon offsetting.

“I’m not saying we can’t build,” she adds. “But we must break the link between infrastructure and carbon. That’s easy to say, but sometimes very hard to do.”

Don't miss this insightful film 

Watch the impressive and insightful Shaping Zero: The Big Questions presented by WSP Exective Director Rachel Skinner here.

Take bold action in your career at WSP

Success in addressing climate change will come down to ownership of the problem. Are you bold enough to take on accountability? Are you bold enough to do what you need to do?

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