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Local Zero Profile

Local Zero

English, Sciences, 1 season, 103 episodes, 3 days, 9 hours, 44 minutes
Climate action on your doorstep. Dr Rebecca Ford, Professor Matt Hannon, and Fraser Stewart are your trusted guides to smart local energy and a zero carbon future. Find us at
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Waste not, want not: leasing, fixing and borrowing to reduce consumption

How to reduce consumption and cut waste, with a focus on re-use and sharing. Joining the Local Zero team are Samantha Moir from Zero Waste Scotland, and Jo Hartga, who runs the Southside Tool Library at South Seeds, a Glasgow charity helping people to live more sustainably. 
5/15/202451 minutes, 10 seconds
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Community Benefit Funds - what does success look like?

Matt and Becky return from their Easter breaks to welcome Rachel Searle, Head of Communities and Impact at Foundation Scotland, and Fiona Smith, chair of Glenkens and District Trust, to discuss the successes and difficulties of community benefit funds from two different perspectives.
5/1/202446 minutes, 1 second
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Harnessing the Power of Open Data

Fraser and Becky (& Becky's dog Kaya!) are joined by Angus Paterson, Electric Vehicles Strategy Senior Officer at Essex County Council, and Joe Ash, Net Zero Associate at UK Power Networks. In this episode we chat about how Essex is harnessing the power of open data to fulfil their net zero planning ambitions, and how the relationship between councils and UKPN works.
3/28/202447 minutes, 16 seconds
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Greener Better Living: Finance for the Future

Living Places is a social enterprise focused on funding and delivery of community focused, place-based models for a just net zero transition. Becky and Fraser are joined by their co-founder, Rufus Grantham, to discuss his work in this space. There's a bit of maths and finance - but stick with it!
3/14/202455 minutes, 31 seconds
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The Fuel Poverty Research Network: Understanding Fuel Poverty

What can we do to tackle fuel poverty more effectively?A busy episode of Local Zero as Matt, Becky and Fraser are joined by Dr Nicola Willand from RMIT University in Melbourne, Professor Lucie Middlemiss from the University of Leeds, and Dr Neil Simcock from Liverpool John Moores University.Nicki, Lucie and Neil are part of the Fuel Poverty Research Network. The Fuel Poverty Research Network (FPRN) is an international network that brings together students, researchers, policymakers and other professionals to foster constructive dialogue and collaboration in relation to all aspects of fuel poverty.
2/29/202452 minutes, 12 seconds
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Citizens assemble: participatory approaches for climate action

After catching up on professional and personal news, Matt, Becky and Fraser welcome Rachel Coxcoon to the pod. Rachel, a former councillor and founder/director of Climate Guide, and is currently doing a PHD at Lancaster University. In this episode, we talk about the role of deliberative democracy such as climate assemblies, and how we can use these effectively to achieve Net Zero.
2/15/202456 minutes, 14 seconds
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Every Tree Tells a Story

Matt has very exciting news to share before he and Becky welcome James Bonner from Every Tree Tells a Story to discuss his work.
2/1/202448 minutes, 3 seconds
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Origami Activism - Paperboats, The Arts, and Local Climate Action

Joining Becky and Fraser for the first episode of 2024 are Scotland's Makar (National Poet) Kathleen Jamie, and writer Sandy Winterbottom, who talk to us about 'Paperboats' - a campaign led by Scottish writers, poets and creatives, and about the need to repair the divide between the arts and science.
1/25/202441 minutes, 30 seconds
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2023 Wrapped: Local Zero's Festive Review of the Year

Somehow it's that time of the year once again! Becky, Matt and Fraser breakdown the highlights and lowlights of the year, are joined by the production team to pick out their favourite episodes, and there might - MIGHT - be a Future or Fiction in there somewhere!
12/18/202357 minutes, 34 seconds
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Is your local council a climate leader?

In January this year, Hannah Jewell, then of Climate Emergency UK, joined us to discuss their Council Climate Plan scorecards. Months later, the results are in, and Isaac Beevor joins the pod to discuss how the roll-out went and discuss the key findings. Before this, Matt and Fraser break down a busy month of climate news...
12/7/202352 minutes, 56 seconds
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Countdown to the UK General Election - full panel discussion

Recently, we brought you edited highlights from a live panel discussion held in Edinburgh, entitled Countdown to the General Election: Scotland’s next steps to net-zero.This episode is the panel discussion in full, including 10 minutes of opening remarks from Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the Climate Change Committee, and over an hour of indepth debate featuring, alongside Chris: Charles Hendry, President of BIEE and former UK Government Energy Minister (chair)Guy Jefferson, COO Scottish Power Energy NetworksProfessor Janette Webb, chair in Sociology of Organisations, School of Social and Political Science, University of EdinburghChris Birt, associate director for Scotland at the Joseph Rowntree foundationThis discussion considers:Are the main parties' decarbonisation goals realistic and achievable?Can decarbonisation goals be made more compelling to voters who are concerned that they will have a negative impact on costs of energy and energy security; and what steps are needed to achieve this?Where do significant policy gaps lie and what are the priorities for action?Recommendations for parties’ manifestos to accelerate a just transition to net-zero.With thanks to BIEE and Edinburgh University's Business School for allowing us to record and share the discussion.
11/27/20231 hour, 27 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Ashden Awards: celebrating local and sustainable energy

Matt and Fraser welcome Nick Lyth, Founder of Green Angel Ventures, and Stephen Hall, Head of Awards at Ashden. The Ashden Awards are given to organisations and businesses that deliver local, sustainable energy schemes with social, economic and environmental benefits - and this year, Fraser was involved in deciding the winners.
11/23/202353 minutes, 39 seconds
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Countdown to the UK General Election: next steps for net-zero

A different episode format for you this time round - Matt and Fraser dissect the key highlights from a recent live panel discussion in Edinburgh, titled Countdown to the General Election: Scotland’s next steps to net-zero.The next general election is widely expected to take place during 2024. Political parties are already spending significant time developing their manifestos, where energy and climate change are likely to feature heavily. Scotland lies at the heart of this debate. Both Scottish and UK governments have been warned by the CCC that there is no clear delivery plan to meet its 2030 and 2040 interim carbon targets. Featuring insights from:Charles Hendry, President of BIEE and former UK Government Energy Minister (chair)Vicky Kelsall, CEO Scottish Power Energy NetworksChris Stark, Chief Executive of the Climate Change CommitteeProfessor Janette Webb, chair in Sociology of Organisations, School of Social and Political Science, University of EdinburghChris Birt of the Joseph Rowntree foundation
11/9/202348 minutes, 40 seconds
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Swaffham Prior: Lessons from the UK's first rural heat network

In 2022, Swaffham Prior, a village in East Cambridgeshire, became the first village to develop a rural heat network. Before welcoming Emma Flether, who worked on this project and is now Low Carbon Homes Director at Octopus Energy, Becky and Fraser discuss what we can expect from fuel bills this winter, in the midst of plummeting UK temperatures.
10/25/202346 minutes, 52 seconds
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Making our homes smarter and fairer

Fraser is back, just in time to discuss the recent party conferences - before the team welcome Rachel Mills from Citizens Advice, and Mairi Brookes from Low Carbon Hub, to discuss how soon we can make our homes smarter and faster.
10/17/202345 minutes, 20 seconds
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Scotland's Carbon Neutral Islands Project

In 2021, Scottish Government committed to making four Scottish Islands Carbon Neutral by 2040. This was increased to six islands following COP26. The ‘lucky six’ islands selected were Barra, Great Cumbrae, Hoy, Islay, Ra-say and Yell – and, to quote the Scottish Government, this would ‘lay the foundations for future action relevant for all other islands in Scotland.’Matt and Becky chat to Darragh Keenaghan and Rosie MacInnes, who are both working on the Carbon Neutral Islands project, to discuss their progress so far.
9/27/202345 minutes, 47 seconds
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The Bike Bus

Matt and Becky reveal some very exciting news from the Local Zero team (!) before discussing the logistics of the school commute - and then welcome Camille Warrington from the Shawlands Bike Bus to discuss this movement in more detail.
9/19/202343 minutes, 6 seconds
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2023 so far - a stock take on the UK’s climate ambitions

How is it August already?!... As the summer holidays come to an end, Matt, Becky and Fraser are joined by Local Zero icon Dr Jeff Hardy to discuss both their personal and broader highlights and lowlights of the year so far.
8/16/202353 minutes, 51 seconds
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Water, water... everywhere?

We can’t live without water, but who controls the supply, and who looks after it, has been a highly debated and contentious issue in the UK, particularly in recent years.Matt, Becky and Fraser catch up on a hefty week of climate-related headlines before welcoming Hugo Tagholm, formerly of Surfers Against Sewage, and now executive director and vice president of Oceana, to talk about the controversies regarding water ownership and how best to tackle them from a national, and local perspective.
8/2/202355 minutes, 54 seconds
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Rights Community Action

Why is place-based work so important?Becky and a rain-battered Fraser are joined by Naomi Luhde-Thomson, leader of Rights Community Action, to discuss how we can work with communities, not for them.
7/26/202346 minutes, 28 seconds
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How can our gardens protect the environment?

How can we utilise our garden spaces, balconies, window boxes and/or pots to benefit the environment? Matt, Fraser and Becky catch up on all things summer, and discuss their own gardening skills before being joined by Kate Bradbury, an award-winning author and journalist, who specialises in wildlife gardening.
7/12/202352 minutes, 43 seconds
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Carbon Offsetting for Communities 4: Empowerment, Enrichment & Impact

What actions could usefully be taken to ensure these projects empower and enrich communities?In the fourth and final episode of our Carbon Offsetting for Communities mini-series, we explore how projects associated with nature-based carbon offsetting positively and negatively impact communities.
7/10/202353 minutes, 7 seconds
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Community Carbon Offsetting 3: Ownership, Governance and Finance

How are these carbon offsetting schemes financed and governed, and who actually owns these projects?The third and penultimate episode in our Community Carbon Offsetting mini series features many different voices and perspectives from the event held at the University of Strathclyde in March 2023. Consider this a deep dive into the world of nature based offsetting, guided expertly by your host, Professor Matt Hannon.
6/29/202343 minutes, 6 seconds
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Decarbonising the UK music industry

The UK music industry contributes billions of pounds to the economy every year, but just how carbon intensive is streaming and touring? Becky and Matt are joined for a fascinating discussion by Lewis Jamieson from Music Declares Emergency, and Carly McLachlan and Christopher Jones from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
6/21/202352 minutes, 54 seconds
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Putting the "us" in energy justice

Becky and Fraser double as both co-hosts AND expert guests this time - updating Matt on a major local and community energy project they've been running for the Scottish Government, as part of their work at Regen. The team talk about how and why local and community energy can support a fairer transition to net zero. We also hear insights from a 'People's Panel' that was run as part of the project, asking how energy can be made to work for everyone, including low income, vulnerable, and 'hard to reach' communities.
6/9/202339 minutes, 6 seconds
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Whole person, whole place - social relations and energy retrofit

How do our social relations with other people and places influence decisions about domestic energy retrofit?Becky and Matt reunite at the University of Strathclyde to speak with Professors Lucie Middlemiss and Mark Davis from the University of Leeds, and hear separate case studies from Iain Cairns, Ruth Bookbinder and Giulia Mininni.
5/24/202358 minutes, 30 seconds
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Community Carbon Offsetting 2: Panel Discussion with Hamish Trench, Ailsa Raeburn and Sarah Nicholas

How do we frame, evaluate and facilitate community benefit from voluntary nature-based carbon offset projects?The second episode from our Community Carbon Offsetting mini seires is a live recorded Q&A session featuring Hamish Trench, CEO of the Scottish Land Commission, Sarah Nicholas, Carbon Projects Manager at Forestry and Land Scotland, and Ailsa Raeburn, Head of the Community Assets Team and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Chair of Community Land Scotland.
5/22/202338 minutes, 25 seconds
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Community Carbon Offsetting 1: Rekindling Community with Alastair McIntosh

In March, Matt hosted the Community Carbon Offsetting conference at the Unversity of Strathclyde, which formed a fascinating gathering of people to discuss how land use and ownership is changing across rural Scotland in response to the booming carbon offset market.This mini series will showcase highlights from the conference - the first of which is this passionate talk about community with reknowned writer, academic and activist Alastair McIntosh. You can access the slides Alastair refers to here:
5/17/202336 minutes, 16 seconds
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Focus on Edinburgh

Edinburgh is both prosperous and wealthy - but also has unique and complex issues to tackle when it comes to reaching their ambitious Net Zero targets. This episode is a deep dive into Scotland's capital city, featuring Councillor Cammy Day, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, Bridie Ashrowan, Chief Executive of EVOC (Edinburgh Voluntary Organisation's Council) and Matthew Lancashire, Director of Zero Matters.
5/10/202351 minutes, 46 seconds
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Energy networks and smart local systems

What role do energy network operators - or DNOs - have in developing smart local energy systems? Becky - along with guest co-host Dr Jeff Hardy - lead an EnergyREV panel discussion with:Maxine Frerk, director at Grid Edge PolicyAdam Bell, head of policy at StonehavenMelanie Bryce, SSEN Oxfordshire programme director on Project LEO (Local Energy Oxfordshire)Doug Cook, deputy director at OFGEM responsible for digitalisation and decentralisation
4/27/202352 minutes, 41 seconds
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Live: Energy-smart places and a just transition

What is the role of energy-smart places and smart local energy approaches in securing a just transition? In this Local Zero Live, recorded at EnergyREV's final summit in central London, Becky and Fraser welcome a panel of guests to explore how tech innovations and energy policy can work fairly, and for citizens and communities. Guests in this episode: Karen Barass of Climate InsightsDonal Brown, University of Sussex research fellowJoanne Wade from the Association for Decentralised Energy and the UK Energy Research CentreSyed Ahmed from Community Energy London
3/23/202359 minutes, 43 seconds
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Introducing... Dr Fraser Stewart (pending a viva)

Fraser has finally completed his PhD ... but what was it about? This episode is dedicated to the themes of Fraser's thesis, exploring social inequalities in uptake of low carbon technologies like solar pv and heat pumps, and uncovers ways to rectify those inequalities at local and community levels. Congratulations Fraser! Some elements of Fraser's PhD work are already publicly available - here: 
3/9/202347 minutes, 2 seconds
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Prospering From the Energy Revolution 4: Impact and Engagement

Concluding our four-part mini-series focusing on the work of Innovate UK's Prospering From the Energy Revolution (PFER) Programme, Matt and Fraser chat with Eva Goudouneix from Repowering London and Jamie Rea from the Electric Storage Company. This week: how to engage the public with energy projects and technology. 
2/23/202349 minutes, 2 seconds
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Prospering from the Energy Revolution 3: Skills and Supply Chain

This penultimate instalment of our month-long Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PFER) series focuses on Skills and the Supply Chain. Matt, Becky and Fraser chat acronyms, and a personal experience of issues faced by those trying to find work in the energy sector, before being joined by Louise Alter from Equans and Melanie Bryce from SSEN. 
2/16/202342 minutes, 14 seconds
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Prospering From the Energy Revolution 2: Finance

This February, the Local Zero team are bringing you weekly podcasts focused on the work of the Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PFER) funding innovation. This week the focus is on finance. Joining us for the second of these special episodes are Cheryl Hiles, Director of Energy Capital (West Midlands Combined Authority) and Tim Rose, Programme Manager of Energy Superhub Oxford. But before all that, the team celebrate the submission of a certain PhD...
2/9/202347 minutes, 18 seconds
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Prospering From the Energy Revolution 1: Policy and Regulation

This February, the Local Zero team are bringing you a new podcast every single week! These special episodes are all focused on the work of the Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PFER) innovation funding. First up, a focus on policy and regulation to unleash smart, local energy systems (SLES). This one features Chris Dunham from Carbon Descent, and Merlin Hyman, Chief Executive of Regen. 
2/2/202357 minutes, 7 seconds
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Rate my council: Climate Emergency UK's Climate Action Scorecards

How well do our local councils perform when it comes to tackling the climate crisis? One not-for-profit organisation - Climate Emergency UK - makes it its business to rate and measure the performance and progress of local authorities, with their innovative Council Climate Action Scorecards. For our first episode of 2023, Becky and Matt are joined by Hannah Jewell, the group's Campaigns and Policy Officer.
1/19/202349 minutes, 40 seconds
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2022 wrapped: Local Zero's festive review of the year

Joining the usual team for a look back at 2022 in energy (with festive drinks and mince pies in hand) are Strathclyde University's Dr Jen Roberts and Manish Joshi. Together, they unpack an eventful (!) year, discuss key learning points from the energy crisis, and look for reasons to be cheerful. There is also the long-awaited return of Future or Fiction.
12/22/202255 minutes, 56 seconds
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Corporates and communities: how renewable energy funds community assets

How are communities benefitting financially from commercial suppliers paying them for playing host to wind farms? Matt chats to Ian Leaver, Chief Officer of Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston Community Company, and SSE Renewables' Lindsay Dougan, to explore the benefits of these schemes, using Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston as an example.
12/8/202246 minutes, 56 seconds
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Scottish Power's role as a decarbonising leader

Scottish Power's Robin Cathcart and Owen Black on the company's role in helping Scotland and the UK to decarbonise. Scottish Power is part of the Iberdrola Group, which recently announced a target to be net zero in all scopes by 2040 - 10 years sooner than had been previously aimed for.
11/25/202239 minutes, 43 seconds
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Our World in Data with Dr Hannah Ritchie

Are there reasons to be cheerful about climate change? What are the most data-driven changes we can make to really move the dial on carbon emissions? Dr Hannah Ritchie is Head of Research at Our World In Data, an online platform hosted by Oxford University which aims to 'make progress against the world’s largest problems'. Matt speaks with Hannah about how the data she sees and collates tells a surprisingly optimistic story - and how numbers can be a powerful tool to hold governments and policy-makers to account.
11/22/202235 minutes, 26 seconds
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COP26 and Glasgow: one year on

A year since Glasgow hosted COP26, the team reflect on the event's legacy for the city, and particularly for Strathclyde University. Matt, Becky and Fraser are joined by Dr Roddy Yarr, Strathclyde's Executive Lead for Sustainability, and Manish Joshi, CEO of the Students Union.
11/10/202248 minutes, 15 seconds
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Professor Jim Skea on Net Zero and the just transition

Ahead of COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Matt and Becky are joined by Professor Jim Skea, Co-Chair of Working Group III of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) to discuss the benefits, practicalities and obstacles standing in the way of a just transition.Jim is also a Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College, and Chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission.
10/27/202246 minutes, 35 seconds
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Crisis averted? Government response to fuel poverty and soaring bills

With the energy crisis showing no signs of slowing, and UK government policy changing and changing again seemingly by the hour, we return to the pressing issue of fuel poverty. Joining Matt and Fraser are Jessica Cook from National Energy Action (NEA) and Aimee Ambrose, Professor of Energy Policy at Sheffield Hallam University. 
10/14/202257 minutes, 20 seconds
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Can a smart-meter change your life?

Can a smart-meter really change your life? This is the fiftieth full-length episode of Local Zero - Matt, Becky and Fraser reflect on being half a century old, EVs, and the recent energy cap announcement -- before being joined by guest Jeremy Yapp. Jeremy is Head of Flexible Energy Systems at BEAMA (the UK Trade Association for Manufacturers and Providers of Energy Infrastructure Technologies and Systems). Jeremy outlines how just how crucial Smart Meters can be for household budgeting, and what we need to succeed in a smart energy transition. 
9/29/202252 minutes, 18 seconds
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The future of smarter, more local energy systems - Local Zero live from EnergyREV's 2022 summit

Recorded at EnergyREV's central London summit on smart local energy, the team explore what a smarter, more local energy system might look like, and how it could drive the push to net zero and tackle the energy crisis. Matt and Becky are joined by EnergyREV's Rob Saunders, Teodora Kaneva from Tech UK, UK100's Karen Barrass, and Professor Jeff Hardy, Senior Research Fellow in Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London's Grantham Institute.Links:
9/20/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 4 seconds
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Disability and the energy crisis

Disabled people and their households are among those most likely to be impacted by the energy crisis and associated rise in living costs. Until now, impacts on disabled consumers seem all too often to have been overlooked by both policy makers and media. For this special episode, the team are joined by Gemma Hope, director of policy at Leonard Cheshire, and Lizzie Green, campaigns manager at Sense.
8/29/202246 minutes, 49 seconds
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Power for People: Lobbying and Local Electricity

The Local Electricity Bill could - if enacted - open up local supply of electricity to nearby communities. Supporters claim it could bring to market some of the most affordable forms of renewable power, like onshore wind and solar. The bill has support from around 300 MPs, and is currently moving through the Westminster parliament. Fraser, Matt and Becky are joined by Power for People's Steve Shaw, to explore what the proposed change could mean, particularly for energy bills. Steve also has great tips for successful lobbying of MPs and others.
8/3/202252 minutes, 31 seconds
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Community benefit from offshore wind

The UK Government has committed to installing 50GW of offshore wind energy by 2030. What are the impacts of offshore wind on communities, and how can we ensure they benefit? Fraser, Becky and (newly minted Professor!) Matt are joined by Grace Millman, Energy Analyst at Regen, and Dr Claire Haggett, Senior Lecturer of Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh. Find us at
7/7/202249 minutes, 11 seconds
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The carbon cost of holiday flights

As many of us gear up for a summer break, often jetting off to the sun, just how culpable are flight emissions in the context of the climate emergency? Who is most responsible? And is guilt-free flying ever likely to be possible? Joining the LZ team for this chat are Anna Hughes, CEO of Flight Free UK, and Abhilasha Fullonton, a Research Associate at Tyndall Manchester. Find us at
6/23/20221 hour, 17 seconds
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Shifting and flexing home energy demand

How can we shift our demand for energy in the home, perhaps by shaping and flexing our domestic routines to match periods of peak 'clean' energy production? Does our relationship with technology have to change in order to reduce demand and therefore cut emissions?This episode continues our focus on the role of demand in delivering net zero - specifically focusing on one key area of energy consumption - in our homes. Joining Matt and Becky this time are: Sarah Darby, Associate Professor in the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, and Phil Steele, Future Technologies Evangelist (what a title!) at Octopus Energy. 
6/9/202249 minutes, 33 seconds
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Energy Demand and Net Zero

What is the impact of our own behaviours and attitudes, as households and consumers, on carbon emissions? The latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report contains, for the first time ever, a chapter specifically focusing on how the choices we each make impact emissions. To discuss this, the team are joined by Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh from the University of Bath, director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST), and Oxford Professor Nick Eyre, director of the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS).
5/26/202257 minutes, 59 seconds
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The rise of Scotland's 'Green Lairds' - with Magnus Davidson

The phenomenon of so-called 'Green Lairds' buying up land for carbon offsetting is increasingly a phenomenon that Scotland is having to reckon with. Magnus Davidson from the University of the Highlands and Islands, who is also a board member of Community Land Scotland, joins Matt and Fraser to review a recent panel event held jointly between the University of Edinburgh's Business School and the British Institute for Energy Economics (BIEE).An unedited recorded of the panel discussion, chaired by Charles Hendry, Honorary Professor and President of BIEE, is adjacent to this episode in the Local Zero feed. Find Local Zero online at
5/13/202257 minutes, 18 seconds
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Green Lairds and the great carbon offset: Edinburgh University/BIEE panel event

How to reconcile natural capital, net-zero and just transition priorities? In this unedited recording, an expert panel discuss the trends for large-scale land purchases for carbon offsetting in Scotland. What is driving these trends, and what the future holds?The discussion was a joint event between the University of Edinburgh's Business School and the British Institute for Energy Economics (BIEE)Chair: Charles Hendry, Honorary Professor and President of BIEEPanellists: Dave Reay, Professor of Carbon Management, University of Edinburgh; Executive Director for Edinburgh Climate Change Institute; Director of Policy at ClimateXChangeKirsten Jenkins, Lecturer in Energy, Environment and Society, University of EdinburghAilsa Raeburn, Chairperson for Community Land Scotland; Chair of the Isle of Eigg Heritage TrustStephen Young, Head of Policy at Scottish Land and Estates
5/13/20221 hour, 31 minutes, 29 seconds
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Micro grid energy and community cohousing

Making homes both more sustainable and more affordable: these are two of the most pressing challenges facing society today. In this episode, the team explore solutions presented by community-led cohousing, and community-owned micro-grid energy. In particular, we look at what exciting possibilities can be unlocked when both systems can be integrated together onto one site. We hear from Andy O’Brien from the Bristol Energy Cooperative, and Monica King from Bridport Cohousing in Dorset. Follow us on Twitter @LocalZeroPod and email [email protected] to get involved in the discussion.
5/5/202250 minutes, 39 seconds
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Energy advocacy services in a time of crisis

As the energy crisis bites and price cap rises against a backdrop of climate change, energy advocacy services are becoming crucial to supporting people in need, and local net zero action. In this episode we ask: what is the role of energy advocacy services? What issues are they facing, and how can they support a fair and just net-zero transition for communities? Matt and Fraser are joined by Frazer Scott, CEO Energy Action Scotland, Dr Danielle Butler from National Energy Action and Energy Advisors, Agnes Berner and Poppy Ives, from Glasgow’s South Seeds.Follow us on Twitter @LocalZeroPod and email [email protected] to have your say.
4/7/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 15 seconds
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Co-benefits of local climate action

Climate action can deliver a huge variety of co-benefits, alongside carbon reduction: improving health from active travel, reducing fuel poverty through better insulation, and creating better jobs and more resilient communities, to name just a few. Matt and Becky are joined by PwC's Dom Boyle, to discuss how keeping it local can accelerate net zero, reduce fossil fuel dependence, and bring huge social benefits across the UK. Find us at
3/31/202239 minutes, 22 seconds
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Decarbonising infrastructure

Cutting carbon from future infrastructure projects is a massive and costly long-term challenge. It is also a critical part of the path to net zero. So how can bridges, roads, hospitals, power stations, railway networks, and all the big-ticket items we rely on for the proper functioning of our society and economy be decarbonised? Becky and Matt are joined by:Alan Hendry, Director of Sustainability at Mott MacDonaldSarah Thiam, Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry. Kit England, Green Economy Manager at Glasgow City
3/17/202254 minutes, 54 seconds
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The cost of Net Zero

Radical changes are needed to our infrastructure if we want to deliver a Just Energy Transition and meet our net-zero goals. But it’s not that simple.Matt and Becky are joined by Dr Jo Patterson to discuss the stagnant costs of clean heating and making our homes more energy efficient. The incentive is just not there for most homeowners, our finance and policy instruments are outdated and ineffective. What we need now is something innovative incredibly local, as we hear from Rufus Grantham of Bankers Without Boundaries. Find us at
3/3/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 30 seconds
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How to kick-start community energy?

Community-led energy projects offer a way forward as energy bills spiral and carbon emissions need to be cut. However, community energy in the UK is struggling. How can government unleash its potential?Matt and Becky are joined by experts Kayla Ente, Founder of Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative and Nigel Cornwall, Director at Hydrogen East, Net Zero East and New Anglia Energy. Find us at
2/17/202257 minutes, 23 seconds
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Focus on Aberdeen: the UK oil capital's just transition

Aberdeen has been the epicentre of UK oil and gas - and prospered as a result - since the 1970s. How can a community so steeped in fossil fuels engage successfully with a just transition? Becky and Matt are joined by Prof Tavis Potts from the University of Aberdeen, and Aberdeen Climate Action's Alison Stuart. Find us at
2/3/202250 minutes, 35 seconds
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2022: the year of local climate action?

As concern grows over spiking energy bills and its impact on poorer households, what challenges lie ahead for net-zero and a just transition? As ever, we explore how local action can have a positive impact. Matt and Becky are joined by Dr Jen Roberts, Chancellor's Fellow in Energy at the University of Strathclyde, and Dr Jeff Hardy, Senior Research Fellow in Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London's Grantham Institute. Find us and explore more episodes at
1/20/202251 minutes, 10 seconds
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2021 Wrapped

We managed an actual face-to-face catch-up in Fraser's flat! (squeezed in before the ramping up of COVID-19 measures). There *may* have been alcohol, as we reflected on personal, professional and podcasting highlights from an extraordinary year. Huge thanks for being with us in 2021. The whole LZ team wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. X
12/15/20211 hour, 24 seconds
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Was COP26 a success or failure? With Prof David Reay

Prof David Reay, director of the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, gives his verdict on COP26. The commitment to 1.5 degrees of warming is, he says, 'on life support'. David also talks about plans for his climate-friendly farm on the beautiful Mull of Kintyre. Tweet us @LocalZeroPod or email [email protected]
12/2/202141 minutes, 56 seconds
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COP26 team debrief

Post COP26, an extremely tired Local Zero team gather their initial thoughts and responses. We return to fortnightly Local Zero episodes, every other Thursday from today. Find us at
11/18/202124 minutes, 49 seconds
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COP26: Becky and Matt's long overdue catch up

Matt and Becky finally manage a catch-up, swapping stories and insights from their experiences of COP26. Matt also visits Sunny G community radio in Glasgow's Govan neighbourhood, and takes part in a panel discussion by the 'liberal conservatism' pressure group Bright Blue. We are back to 'business as usual' fortnightly episodes from next week. Find us at
11/14/202128 minutes, 3 seconds
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COP26: Matt in the Blue Zone

In the COP26 Blue Zone, Matt reflects on global uptake of electric vehicles, bumps into California Democrat Congressional candidate Shrina Kurani, and learns about the surprising climate consequences of working from home. Find us at
11/12/202121 minutes, 20 seconds
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COP26: Sustainability in Glasgow with Gavin Slater

At COP26, Becky and Matt chat with Gavin Slater, Glasgow City Council's Head of Sustainability. Gavin outlines action being taken to reach net zero goals on heating, transport and technology, and how COP26 has energised the movement.
11/11/202118 minutes, 53 seconds
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COP26: Becky’s Bicycle Diaries

Becky joins the Moving for Climate NOW Bike Ride, cycling across Scotland and into Glasgow. Becky talks to the other cyclists about turning targets into action and making sure vulnerable people are included in the transition to Net Zero. She cycles past wind farms, along cycle paths and dashes white-knuckled through rush hour traffic to reach COP26 with the group's manifesto.
11/10/202121 minutes, 22 seconds
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COP26: Is 'net zero' an accounting trick?

On his first visit to the COP26 Blue Zone, Matt narrowly misses Barack Obama, hears warnings that carbon offsetting is merely 'an accounting trick', and dips into a session about an initiative in India to help women tackle heat stress. He also compares notes with Fraser as the pair get set for the legendary Carbon Brief quiz. Find us at
11/9/202122 minutes, 41 seconds
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Live at COP26: Delivering a just transition

What does a just transition to net zero look like and how can it be delivered? Our #LocalZeroLive COP26 panel show, recorded with a capacity audience at Glasgow's Lighthouse, features:Richard Lochhead – Scottish Government Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair WorkProf. Jim Skea CBE - Centre for Environmental Policy Imperial College; Co-chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); Chair of Scottish Government’s Just Transition CommissionMiriam Brett - Director of Research & Advocacy Common Wealth.Katie Gallogly Swan - Policy Coordinator UN Conference on Trade and Development and the Global Development Policy Center, Boston University.Scott Mathieson - Director of Network Planning and Regulation at Scottish Power Energy Networks.Alison Stuart - Co-founder and Director of Aberdeen Climate Action.With thanks to the Lighthouse, Scottish Government and Visit Scotland for hosting the event, and to Cameron Events for PA support.
11/7/20211 hour, 25 minutes, 21 seconds
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COP26: "This is our fight" - Fraser shares a stage with Greta Thunberg

Fraser Stewart reflects on sharing a stage with Greta Thunberg, Vanessa Nakate and indigenous peoples from around the world - after giving a climate justice speech at the Fridays For Future rally in Glasgow's George Square. "From Dundee to Dhaka, this is our fight". Fraser and Matt chair Local Zero Live, a panel discussion at Glasgow's Lighthouse from 4.45pm today. The event is sold out but you can stream it here:
11/6/20214 minutes, 43 seconds
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COP26: Snapshots from Friday's youth march

COP26 day 6 saw thousands of young people marching through the streets of Glasgow - with Becky, Matt, and Matt's family all among them.
11/5/20219 minutes, 57 seconds
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COP26 Energy Day: How bad are bananas?

Becky hits the Green Zone and plays 'How Bad Are Bananas?' Matt is talking heat innovation and geoenergy at a showcase run jointly by the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise. Contributors:Prof Malcolm McCulloch, Oxford University Energy and Power GroupDr Mauricio Zaglio, Hank Torbet, Victor Aguilera and Andrew Bissell from East Lothian based East Lothian heat battery innovator SunampNicole Figueiredo de Oliviera from Brazilian climate change campaign group ArayaraDavid Townsend of TownRock EnergyJodie Evans from Future We Want
11/5/202126 minutes, 42 seconds
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COP26 Finance Day: First impressions and PlanetPod's Amanda Carpenter

Matt's first foray into COP26 was into the Green Zone on Finance Day. This mini-episode gives a flavour of talks he attended, and the atmosphere around Glasgow. There's also a chat with Amanda Carpenter from the excellent
11/4/202110 minutes, 47 seconds
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COP26: what we're doing when

COP26 is here! We look ahead to a whirlwind two weeks, get excited, and sketch out plans. Sign up now if you want to be at Local Zero Live on Saturday 6th Nov, and make sure you subscribe to the podcast feed, as we switch to 'breaking-news' style ad-hoc content drops across the fortnight whenever we have them available. Follow us on twitter: @LocalZeroPod.
10/31/20219 minutes, 28 seconds
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Leo Hickman: COP26 hopes and fears

Leo Hickman of the Carbon Brief looks ahead to COP26. We also invite back a selection of guests from across Local Zero's first year, to hear their hopes and fears ahead of this historic climate summit getting underway in Glasgow.
10/20/202151 minutes, 52 seconds
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Energy Crisis and Beyond

Concern over energy prices has dominated headlines in recent weeks - but what does the energy 'crisis' mean for consumers, communities and the road to net zero? The team are joined by Clem Cowton from Octopus Energy, Dhara Vyas from Citizens Advice, and Dr Jeff Hardy, of Imperial College London.
10/6/20211 hour, 1 minute, 51 seconds
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Jobs, skills and training for zero-carbon homes

What jobs, skills and training are needed to deliver smart zero-carbon home heating? How big is the skills-gap? (Spoiler: It's quite big). Matt and Becky are joined by Cardiff University's Dr Jo Patterson, and Adam Chapman, director of Heat Geek, while Fraser's been chatting about retrofitting and the just transition with Carbon Co-op co-founder Jonathan Atkinson. Tweet us @LocalZeroPod, or email [email protected] - we always love to hear from you.
9/22/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 28 seconds
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Back to the Future: industrial history and community in the just transition

Dr Ewan Gibbs joins us to discuss what the history of UK industry and energy can teach us about a just transition.Can communities built around industries of the past drive forward, as well as benefit from, a greener future?Tweet us @LocalZeroPod or email [email protected]
9/8/202144 minutes, 3 seconds
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Dr Alice Bell director of climate charity Possible

Dr Alice Bell discusses the work of the climate change charity Possible to get communities engaged with climate action. Her recent book is called Our Biggest Experiment: A History of Climate Change. Tweet us @LocalZeroPod or email [email protected]
8/25/202148 minutes, 4 seconds
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Bonus ep: IPCC report 'code red for humanity' - Local Zero responds

A landmark UN scientific report has detailed how human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and irreversible ways. It warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and is widely reported to be "a code red for humanity". In this bonus episode, the Local Zero team, Becky, Matt and Fraser, share their thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears in response to the report.
8/12/202114 minutes, 26 seconds
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Rob Saunders from Prospering From the Energy Revolution (PFER)

The team fact-check the science around recent government proposals for climate change “micro-steps”. Our guest is Rob Saunders, Challenge Director for the UK’s flagship Prospering from the Energy Revolution (PFER). Tweet us @LocalZeroPod or email [email protected]
8/12/202151 minutes, 27 seconds
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Local heroes: spotlighting Glasgow's local climate activists

We meet people taking action in their communities to tackle climate change. We hear about their important work fighting locally against the climate emergency, and the wider impacts this work is having. Fraser records at the home of the Pollokshields Community Trust, with Bill Fraser, and South Seeds manager Lucy Gillie. Also in this episode, our first interactive Future or Fiction - listen to find out how to play along!
7/28/202150 minutes, 19 seconds
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Gridlocked: energy networks, DSOs and net zero

How is the energy network changing, and what does it mean for net zero? How can we manage our networks to accommodate smart, local innovations in energy generation, and what opportunities does this present for the future? Guests this week: Professor Keith Bell, ScottishPower Chair in Smart Grids at the University of Strathclyde and Dr Jeff Hardy, Senior Research Fellow in the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.
7/14/202151 minutes, 20 seconds
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Permission to land 2: land use and net zero

From land *ownership* in our last episode to land *use* this time. How can land be used to mitigate climate change? What are some innovative uses of land, and what major barriers still remain? Guests this week: Guy Shrubsole, environmental and rewilding campaigner and author of 'Who Owns England?', and Dr Alona Armstrong, Senior Lecturer in Energy and Environmental Sciences at Lancaster University. Meanwhile, Alan McDonnell from Trees for Life shares how how land can be used creatively to better serve both the climate and communities.
6/30/202150 minutes, 13 seconds
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Permission to land 1: ownership and net zero

What is the current state of UK land ownership, and how can this be overhauled to better meet the needs of both climate and communities? The team are joined by Malcolm Combe, senior law lecturer at the University of Strathclyde , Kate Swade from Shared Assets CIC, and Magnus Davidson from Community Land Scotland.
6/16/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 58 seconds
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Get smart: data in local net zero

What role does “smart” have to play in a local, net zero transition? How crucial is data? What are the key issues to address? The team are joined by Stephen McArthur, Professor of Intelligent Energy Systems at Strathclyde, and Gavin Starks, founder of Icebreaker One, a company working to unlock the value of data to deliver net-zero.
6/2/202156 minutes, 29 seconds
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Greg Barker, coalition government climate change minister

Gregory Barker, now Lord Barker of Battle, was energy and climate change minister in the coalition government. He was pivotal to UK policies like the Green Deal, feed-in-tariff, & the Green Investment Bank. He reflects on his time in the role, and shares tips and advice for his successors.
5/19/202151 minutes, 8 seconds
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A green COVID recovery?

What could a green post-COVID economic recovery look like, and how can we make sure it has carbon reduction and a just transition at its core? Guests this time are Miriam Brett, research director at the Common Wealth think-tank, and Mairi Spowage, Interim Director of Strathclyde University’s Fraser of Allander economic institute.
5/5/202153 minutes, 39 seconds
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Community energy: power to the people

From turbines in the remote Western Isles to solar PV in Brixton, community energy projects represent a challenge to our mostly centralised energy system. They can also bring enormous local social and economic benefits. But the sector is at a crossroads due to policy changes - so what is the future of community energy? Joining the team are Emma Bridge from Community Energy England, and Professor Patrick Devine-Wright, an expert in community energy and public participation from the University of Exeter.
4/21/202156 minutes, 35 seconds
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Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) almost always encounter anger and resistance - but are shown to cut driving and increase walking and cycling where they are introduced. Leo Murray from the climate change charity Possible and Jon Burke, who introduced LTNs during his time as a Hackney council cabinet member, join the team. We'll also meet Brenda Puech, who turned an on-road parking space into a mini park or 'parklet'.
4/7/202152 minutes, 15 seconds
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Movin’ on up: Transport for a net zero future

Transport makes up nearly 40% of the average UK household's carbon footprint (with wide variation between different sections of society). While other sectors have made progress on cutting carbon, the dial has barely moved on transport emissions. So is the elephant in the room actually an SUV? Joining the team this time are Professor Iain Docherty, transport policy expert at the University of Stirling, Dr Debbie Hopkins, Associate Professor in sustainable urban development at the University of Oxford, and Leo Murray, director of innovation at climate change charity Possible.
3/24/202156 minutes, 11 seconds
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Zero-carbon homes: building a supply chain and workforce

Delivering UK net zero requires a massive switch to carbonless heat and power in all our buildings - but the tools and systems to make that switch don't currently exist. The team look at the scale of that challenge, and ask what can be done, particularly in jobs, skills and supply chains. They are joined by Jo Patterson from Cardiff University's Welsh School of Architecture, and Nigel Banks from zero-carbon housing developer Ilke Homes. Fraser chats with Nathan Gambling, a leading trainer of heating engineers.
3/10/202149 minutes, 50 seconds
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Too Hot to Handle? Decarbonising heat in homes and industry

Heat is a key challenge in achieving carbon net-zero. What is being done to decarbonise heat systems, and how can this work be accelerated? Heat policy experts Richard Lowes and Jen Roberts address barriers and challenges to a just transition of heat. We also hear from some of very few householders to have already installed heat-pumps.
2/24/202159 minutes, 19 seconds
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Show me the money: funding the net zero transition

Who pays for local energy systems in the net-zero transition, and why? What are the financial barriers that local and community energy models need to overcome? Barbara Hammond MBE shares lessons she's learned over ten years of running Oxford's Low Carbon Hub, and renewable finance guru Bruce Davis of Abundance Investment details different types of green energy finance.
2/10/202153 minutes, 24 seconds
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Power To The People: Net Zero and Citizen Engagement

How do those leading the charge on carbon reduction bring everyone else in society along for the ride? Our guest is Professor Rebecca Willis, who leads on citizen engagement in climate change at Lancaster University. Her book on this subject is called 'Too Hot To Handle: The Democratic Challenge of Climate Change'.
1/27/202141 minutes, 28 seconds
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Chris Stark of the UK Climate Change Committee

Chris Stark, chief executive of the UK's Climate Change Committee, shares his hopes, ambitions and fears over climate change goals, and his aspirations for Glasgow as it prepares to host COP26 later this year.The team refer to a document in the episode entitled 'Local Authorities and the Sixth Carbon Budget'. You can download it at this link:
1/13/202152 minutes, 34 seconds
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Fuel poverty and net zero: Leave no-one behind

Fuel poverty is a pervasive and persistent issue for some of society's most vulnerable groups. How can the push for net zero help to end fuel poverty, and how can local solutions help? We meet fuel poor households in Glasgow, and visit Orkney - which has some of the UK's worst fuel poverty - but also some of the most innovative solutions.We hear from:Prof Aimee Ambrose, Energy Policy professor at Sheffield Hallam University and chair of the UK's Fuel Poverty Research NetworkLuke Fraser from The Orkney Islands Council on Orkney's pioneering energy project ReFLEX.Gareth Davies from Orkney-based company Aquatera, also on ReFLEX.
12/17/202042 minutes, 24 seconds
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Glasgow's challenge: a net zero city by 2030

What is required to bring one of Britain's biggest cities down to net zero? In this episode, we focus on Glasgow as a case study for ambitious, city-level climate action, and set out the vital roles to be played by local authorities, communities and other key actors.Contributors: Anna Richardson - Glasgow City Council Convener for Sustainability and Carbon ReductionLucy Gillie - general manager of Govanhill-based community environmental organisation South Seeds Roddy Yarr - leads on developing and implementing climate change policy and solutions for the University of Strathclyde
12/2/202039 minutes, 43 seconds
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COVID's Lessons for the Road to Net Zero

With guests Polly Billington and Jim Watson, the team assess the impact of Coronavirus on net zero transition. How can local energy help bring about a prosperous and fair pandemic recovery? Polly is a member of Hackney Council in East London and director of UK100, a network of more than 100 UK councils that is committed to tackling the climate emergency. Jim is Professor of Energy Policy at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources.
11/18/202037 minutes, 56 seconds
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Countdown to COP26 in Glasgow

COP26 in Glasgow is one year away - so where are we on the path to a zero carbon future? In this first episode, the Local Zero team tackle the big questions on climate change, and start to explore how local ‘place-based’ solutions may hold the key.Local Zero is a podcast from Glasgow-based climate change researchers Dr Rebecca Ford, Dr Matt Hannon and Fraser Stewart, brought to you by EnergyREV. Subscribe now to get every episode straight to your podcast feed.Episode 1 contributors: Renee Van Diemen a senior scientist from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)Sam Gardner, Scottish Power's Head of Climate Change & Sustainability, and chair of the Edinburgh Climate CommissionDavid Reay, Chair in Carbon Management & Education at Edinburgh UniversityErin Curtis, aged 16, volunteer coordinator for Glasgow Youth StrikesAngus Miller, Glasgow City Council's Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Chair.
11/4/202046 minutes, 54 seconds
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Coming soon: climate action on your doorstep

Local Zero kicks off on November 5th, and launches a twelve month countdown to COP26. With Earth's most urgent conversation landing in Scotland, Glasgow-based climate change researchers Dr Rebecca Ford, Dr Matt Hannon and Fraser Stewart will be your trusted guides to smart local energy and a zero-carbon future. Subscribe now to get every episode straight to your podcast feed.
10/16/20203 minutes, 27 seconds