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Event Organiser: ICE

State of the Nation 2020: Infrastructure and the 2050 Net-Zero Target launch, webinar

  • Webinar
  • 01 July 2020
  • 12:00 - 13:00
State of the Nation 2020: Infrastructure and the 2050 Net-Zero Target launch, webinar

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Last year the Government introduced legislation to make the target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 a legally binding commitment. Meeting this will require no small amount of work from the infrastructure and build environment sector.

Currently, the UK’s economic infrastructure networks contribute a large proportion of total annual carbon emissions. Transport and electricity from power stations alone were responsible for more than half of the UK’s total in 2018. Reaching this target will only be possible if clear, stable and well-designed policies to reduce emissions further are introduced across the economy without delay.

Planning and delivering the infrastructure the country needs takes decades and the way we live is also rapidly changing due to our aging population, increased effects of climate change and the growth in new technologies. However, over the coming years the Government will have to make important decisions on how the country will meet the target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

This year’s State of the Nation 2020: Infrastructure and the 2020 Net-Zero Target builds on the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming by examining the role the UK’s infrastructure networks and wider built environment sector can play in meeting the target.

During the online event, attendees will understand more about the report’s recommendations, as well as hear from key government and industry stakeholders on their views of the deliverability of the report.

The event speakers and panel members include:

  • Keith Howells, ICE Vice President and State of the Nation Steering Group Chair, who will give an overview of the report and its recommendations
  • Kemi Badenoch, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury; who will, in a video, provide the Government’s response to the report’s recommendations and outline the latest work that is being done towards meeting the 2050 target
  • Andy Mitchell, Chair, Construction Leadership Council; who will detail the construction industry’s response to the report
  • Prof Keith Bell, Member, Committee on Climate Change; who will give an overview of the advice that the Committee initially gave to government on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and future plans, including forthcoming advice to government

Please note: this session will be recorded. Recordings may be used by the ICE for communications purposes. If you require further details, please contact communications@ice.org.uk.


Keith Howells

Chair of the Steering Group for ICE’s State of the Nation 2020: infrastructure and the net-zero target

Keith Howells

Having graduated in civil engineering in 1974, Keith joined one of the founder members of the Mott MacDonald Group and spent the first 10 years of his career in infrastructure design and project management, mostly in the water and transport sectors.

Keith has built career long experience in the planning and design of hydraulic structures, hydropower, urban drainage, sewerage, water supply and river engineering. He has worked in numerous countries including Nigeria, Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Iceland and India, as well as in the UK. He ran the firm’s Water and Environment business from 1997 to 2002, before becoming the Group Managing Director in 2004, directing the firm’s expansion in North America and Australasia.

Keith was made Chair of the Group’s Executive Board in 2011, responsible to shareholders for the performance of the company and its strategic direction. He:

  • Directed a strategic review of the business to provide greater focus on customers, sectors, technology, and efficiency
  • Reformed the Company’s governance structure by creating a supervisory board
  • Led various policy initiatives across the business including Ethics; Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion; Digital; Sustainability; and “China Outbound”
  • Led the buy-out of a JV partner to create a wholly owned business in North America

Keith stepped down as Chair of Mott MacDonald in July 2019 and retired in September.

He was a board member of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) between 2010 and 2014 and Chair in 2013, the ACE’s centenary year. He was a member of the CBI’s Construction Council between 2012 and 2018 and is a member of the Cranfield School of Management Advisory Board. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is currently a trustee and Vice President of the ICE.

Paul Sheffield

Paul Sheffield

Paul studied civil engineering at the University of Surrey graduating in 1983, becoming Chartered in 1987.

Following graduation, he spent 31 years with the Kier Group, initially working on a wide range of civil engineering and construction projects in various parts of the world including a gold mine in Papua New Guinea, a commercial development in London, a concrete gravity dam in Snowdonia where he was the Chief Engineer and latterly as Project Director on a power station in Hertfordshire, a desalination plant in Saudi Arabia and underground railways in Hong Kong.

Between 2005 and 2010 he was on the Board of Kier with responsibility for their global civil engineering and construction activities and from 2010 to 2014 he was Chief Executive Officer of the Group with overall revenues of £3bn and activities spanning construction, support services, property development and high rise residential.

In 2014 he joined Laing O’Rourke to head their UK and Middle East construction business with close involvement in major infrastructure and construction projects such as Thames Tideway Tunnels and Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and various hospitals, schools, retail and residential projects.

Paul is currently a non-executive Director of Southern Water Services and is on the Supervisory Board of the Dutch Construction Group BAM. He is also an Industrial Advisor to the Board of Manchester Airport Group working on their capital expansion work at both Manchester and Stansted airports. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow and President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was awarded a CBE in 2014 for services to construction and charitable fundraising.

Andy Mitchell

Andy Mitchell

Andy was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Tideway in early summer 2014. He was previously Programme Director and board member at Crossrail.

Andy has managed a number of high-profile projects both in the United Kingdom and overseas. After 12 years working in the United Arab Emirates, France and South Africa and on major developments such as Hong Kong Airport and the Hong Kong West Rail, he joined Network Rail in 2001. He was Project Director for Network Rail’s Southern Power Upgrade project and was also the Major Programme Director of the Thameslink Programme.

Andy is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, former Chair of the Infrastructure Industry Innovation Platform (i3P), and after 4 years has recently stepped down as Chairman of the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG). He was awarded the CBE for his services to Civil Engineering.

Professor Keith Bell

Keith Bell

Keith Bell, Professor of electronic and electrical engineering at the University of Strathclyde, has been appointed to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) by the UK Government and Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Professor Bell, who takes up the position of power sector specialist on the Committee, will join the CCC for a five-year term. Keith Bell is a co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and a Chartered Engineer. In addition to teaching and being involved with energy system research in collaboration with various academic and industrial partners, he has a number of additional roles including with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, The IET Power Academy, the Conseil International des Grands Réseaux Electriques (CIGRE), the European Energy Research Alliance and as ScottishPower Chair in Smart Grids at the University of Strathclyde. In recent years, has given advice on electricity system issues to the Scottish Government, Ofgem, BEIS and the Government of Ireland, amongst others.

Kemi Badenoch

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (by video)

Kemi Badenoch

Kemi Badenoch was appointed Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury on 13 February 2020 and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities) in the Government Equalities Office on 14 February 2020.

She was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education from 27 July 2019 to 13 February 2020.

Event venue

United Kingdom

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ICE Events Team

e: events@ice.org.uk