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In 2013, the Infrastructure Carbon Review identified that the infrastructure sector is responsible for over 50% of the UK’s carbon emissions, based on a 2010 dataset that identified contributions by sector and the emissions under the control and influence of different parts of the sector. In addition, this review found that, due to anticipated decarbonisation in other sectors, infrastructure was likely to account for 90% of the UK’s carbon emissions by 2050. Very large reductions in infrastructure’s carbon emissions are therefore critical to meet the UK’s 2050 carbon reduction targets, and progress needs to be kept under constant review.
ICE’s Carbon Project (formerly the Net Zero Task Force) is focused on enabling civil engineers to understand and act effectively to reduce carbon emissions throughout the sector and influencing wider industry. One critical question is the extent to which progress has been made since the Infrastructure Carbon Review, especially since this review was based on 2010 data. The UK’s hosting of the CoP26 climate talks in Glasgow in November 2021 heightens the need for progress and recent data.
Therefore, one current ICE research project, led by Dr Jannik Giesekam, is to update the emissions dataset behind the original Infrastructure Carbon Review with data from 2010 to 2018. Updating the dataset will provide an assessment of progress to date and highlight the remaining challenges in delivering Net Zero.
In this lecture, Tim Chapman (Arup) will discuss how a whole systems approach helps to understand not only the significance of the updated emissions data but also how to use it most effectively. Next, Dr Giesekam (Leeds University) will describe the research and the updated emissions data from 2010-18. Finally, Maria Manidaki (Mott MacDonald) will provide a practitioner’s perspective on the significance of the emissions update and how the whole sector can respond.
Director (Infrastructure Design), Arup
Tim is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2011, he was awarded the ICE President’s Medal for producing the institution’s first significant thought piece on how to decarbonise the infrastructure sector. He was a member of the steering group for the Treasury’s Infrastructure Carbon Review in 2013. He was one of the people who pushed for the production of PAS2080 and then helped to lead its writing, published in 2016 as the world’s first standard for managing whole life carbon in infrastructure. He helped to devise the commitments made in “Civil Engineers Declare” specific to infrastructure.
Tim was carbon expert witness between 2015 and 2019 for the Welsh Government Inquiry into the M4 Corridor Around Newport, the first time that PAS2080 was used to successfully explain the carbon impacts of a major infrastructure scheme. He is currently chair of an ICE Workstream for identifying systems level reduction in in use carbon and a member of the Association of Consulting Engineer’s (ACE) Net Zero Task Force, charged with preparing an influential industry statement for COP26.
Research Fellow in Industrial Climate Policy, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds
Dr Jannik Giesekam is a Research Fellow in Industrial Climate Policy at the University of Leeds. His research focusses on climate change mitigation in industrial supply chains, with a particular emphasis on the UK construction industry. He is currently managing work packages within the RCUK-funded Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS). He has undertaken work for the Green Construction Board, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Committee on Climate Change and the Scottish Government, including the provision of National Indicators.
He has contributed to guidance documents, served on steering groups and acted as a technical reviewer for groups such as the UK Green Building Council and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He also undertakes a small number of consultancy projects each year, recent clients include Zero Waste Scotland, the Rail Safety and Standards Board and the International Finance Corporation.
He received the 2019 Richard Trevithick Fund Prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers and will be presenting results from a current ICE research project updating the principal datasets from the Infrastructure Carbon Review.
Technical Lead for Net Zero, Mott MacDonald
Maria is Chartered Engineer with 17 years of post-graduate experience in investment planning, design, carbon and asset management in the water industry. Maria has been specialising in carbon management, including energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy technologies and carbon reduction across the infrastructure value chain. Her asset management experience has been mainly targeted at water utilities and regulators advising on good practices, asset management strategies, business case development and technical assessments/due diligence of their investment plans.
Maria is Mott MacDonald’s technical lead for Net Zero responsible for co-ordinating cross-discipline skills required for helping clients meet their net zero carbon aspirations. She has been recently leading a number of strategic net zero carbon and carbon management projects in the UK, such as the Water UK Net Zero Carbon Roadmap, New Zealand Watercare’s carbon baseline, UAE’s first asset owner for embedding PAS 2080 amongst others.
Maria is a member of the UK Green Construction Board, Infrastructure Working Group and has co-authored the Infrastructure Carbon Review and PAS 2080: Carbon Management in Infrastructure. She is a visiting lecturer on Low Carbon Infrastructure at Cranfield University, UK.
Maria sees innovation and leadership across the whole sector as essential to meet infrastructure’s carbon reduction targets and its contribution to the national net zero transition, which is both a challenge and an exciting opportunity.
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