Podcast: South West leading the way on net zero

The Beyond Brunel podcast series brings together industry leaders and experts to talk about the role of infrastructure in a net zero future for the South West.

The South West is facing a revolution in low carbon design and innovation in response to the need for climate resilience and decarbonisation, according to a panel of industry experts.

Speaking on the new Beyond Brunel infrastructure podcast, they highlight the importance of collaboration in achieving sustainable solutions, as well as the need for flexibility and adaptability in design.

Beyond Brunel is a new podcast series exploring the role of infrastructure in the South West’s ongoing transition to net zero carbon by 2050. The series also explores the part infrastructure can play in protecting nature and the environment, improving people’s lives and helping the region become more productive and resilient.

Commissioned and devised by the South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) with funding from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West, Beyond Brunel brings together infrastructure leaders and industry experts for wide-ranging discussions on the transformation of the region’s infrastructure systems.

In Episode 3 on Climate Change & Net Zero, released on Tuesday 4 April 2023, presenter Christopher Ackland is joined by:

  • Stephen Beggs, Director at Curtins
  • Deborah Greaves, Professor of Ocean Engineering and Director of the Coast Laboratory at the University of Plymouth
  • Megan Pearce, Climate Change Consultant (formerly Met Office)
  • David Symons, Future Ready Innovation Leader at WSP

Presenter Christopher Ackland, ICE South West Vice Chair and senior engineer at WSP, said:

“In Episode 3 of Beyond Brunel on climate change and net zero our guests explore how the South West can play a leading role in decarbonising regional infrastructure. Each of our experts offer valuable insights from their own fields, including how climate science is helping the region’s infrastructure sectors to adapt to future challenges. We also discuss the research into offshore renewable energy taking place in the South West.

“It’s great to hear how engineers living and working in the region are already changing the way they work ‘on the ground’ to reduce carbon in their designs and prepare for a more resilient way of life in the future.”

Nature-based solutions are also explored in the podcast, along with the potential for sharing expertise and innovation with other regions and countries. Guests explain why diversity and creativity are vital for change and progress.

Some of the examples mentioned in the podcast episode are featured in a free download to accompany the series.  

The podcast also forms the basis of a new report by SWIP and ICE South West, which seeks to determine what the region needs to do to achieve an effective, future-facing infrastructure system. The South West Vision 2050 identifies four areas for action, three key asks of political leaders and five big questions for defining future needs.

Beyond Brunel is available for streaming or download on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, with a new episode released each month.