"What are you going to do about climate change?" is something Rachel Skinner has been asking civil engineers throughout her year as ICE's 156th president, and she is once again challenging the industry in a new film.
In a follow-up to the Shaping Zero film that launched her ICE presidential year, Skinner has talked to experts from around the world about how civil engineers need to be reducing the carbon emissions from the building and use of infrastructure.
“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,” Skinner said in her second film, Shaping Zero: The Big Questions.
“Small steps, every day, are what count.”
ICE's 156th President Rachel Skinner.
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.
The Big Questions
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.
Next month’s State of the Nation report aims to provide some answers to the question, by producing a checklist of six key actions that civil engineers can take to act on climate change.
In Shaping Zero: The Big Questions, Skinner 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,” Skinner said. “But we must break the link between infrastructure and carbon. That’s easy to say, but sometimes very hard to do.”
6 things civil engineers can do right now
You’ve watched the film – now find out what six things civil engineers can do to address the climate change crisis by signing up to attend State of the Nation 2021.
Sign up to State of the Nation launch