ICE president launches follow-up film on infrastructure and climate change

30 September 2021

With less than a month to go before her one-year term ends as the 156th president of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Rachael Skinner has announced the launch of her second film about acting on climate change.

The 15-minute ‘Shaping Zero: The Big Questions’ follows on from her first ‘Shaping Zero’ film launched in November 2020, and continues her theme of asking civil engineers the question: ‘What are you going to do about climate change?’

Having spoken with experts globally for this second film about how civil engineers can reduce carbon emissions from the building and use of infrastructure, Skinner said: “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.”

In ‘Shaping Zero: The Big Questions’, Skinner looks at the carbon emissions from steel and concrete and cites a low-carbon option; she also highlights the difference between ‘capital carbon’ (carbon emissions from building infrastructure) and ‘operational carbon’ (carbon emissions from using infrastructure).
“I’m not saying we can’t build,” Skinner explained. “But we must break the link between infrastructure and carbon. That’s easy to say, but sometimes very hard to do.”

The film also features interviews with eminent climate-change experts, including Chris Stark, CEO 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. And a bonus interview with world-renowned explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Rachael Skinner is an engineer and UK Head of Transport at infrastructure provider WSP.

Click here to see Shaping Zero: The Big Questions