Conversations on Climate

Season 2: Episode 19 – in conversation with Brian Caulfield

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Professor Brian Caulfield wants us to do everything, everywhere, all at once.

Transport makes up a huge part of our emissions – around 20-25% in Ireland and the UK, and closer to 40% in the US.

Knocking those numbers down is no easy task. A system as complex and inter-dynamic as our transport network is a big beast: and there are so many competing visions.

Should we get behind a big public transport push – a metro for every city?

Is the answer self-driving EV’s? Or redesigning cities to be car-free?

Should we use big data for efficient car-sharing? Or is the answer behaviour change, under the cosh of mandated charges and zoning laws?

This episode’s guest understands that complexity better than anyone. And his number one policy priority?

Do it all – now!

Introducing Brian Caulfield

This week’s guest is a leader in the field of sustainable transport science. Brian Caulfield is Professor in Transportation, and Head of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, where he works on the frontier of decarbonising transport systems.

As well as academia – with over two hundred papers and €7m in research grants to his name – Brian is also active in the policy world, addressing the Citizen’s Assembly and working as an advisor to the Climate Change Advisory Council of Ireland.

“… we’re doing this for a greater good and we’re trying to make all these changes to make our cities and everything else better and more clean, more healthy…”

“… I think that the key thing that I would say to the listeners is to listen, engage, and proactively engage. And because it’s going to impact upon all of us…”


In this episode:

  • the science of transportation
  • emissions, COVID and business-as-usual
  • transport beyond climate
  • our low-emission transport future
  • health, inequality and storytelling
  • sustainable transport policy: the good, the bad and the ugly
  • self-driving cars – a solution looking for a problem?
  • the tricky politics of the car
  • lessons from Brazil



Trinity College Dublin page: https://tinyurl.com/ypskqqfl

Brian’s Linkedin page: https://tinyurl.com/ytsoh2ja


Conversations on Climate is a podcast produced by United Renewables and this episode is in association with Trinity College Dublin.

It brings together the best minds from academia and business, to offer their experience and expertise in the face of climate change –from game theorists to corporate diplomats, and oil industry veterans to micro-algae entrepreneurs. 

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We talk about how the scope of the challenge before us is beyond that of any one individual or any one solution. We listen to thinkers, researchers, policymakers, and business leaders. They discuss a diversity of ideas and solutions to global climate and environmental issues and why they matter.

Season 2 is presented by Chris Caldwell and produced by UNITED RENEWABLES in association with LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL, ALUMNI ENERGY CLUB.

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