Fresh ideas from the sharpest minds working toward a cleaner, greener planet
Ukraine: A War on Nature
It's said that the environment is the silent victim of war. In this programme, Tom Heap finds out how the conflict in Ukraine is affecting environmental work in the country. With so many people forced to flee, what happens to projects which were trying to protect fragile wildlife habitats? He talks to an award-winning Ukrainian environmentalist who has had to temporarily abandon his conservation project around Chernobyl in order to help with the humanitarian aid effort. Meanwhile, with airstrikes taking place in some of the most industrialised areas in the east of the country, the risk of long-term contamination from damaged coal mines and nuclear installations is very real. Tom asks what lessons can be learned from previous wars around the world, and discovers how long-lasting the environmental impacts of military action can be. How can environmental concerns be can be given a voice, instead of remaining the silent victim, at a time when the focus is understandably on saving human lives?
Produced by Emma Campbell
Sustainable Sport for the Future
Two of the biggest sports events of the year, the Commonwealth games in Birmingham and the FIFA world cup in Qatar have pledged to be the most sustainable and green sporting events to date. Both have made bold statements 'the first sustainable commonwealth games' and the ‘first carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup'.
Qasa Alom finds out if they can really deliver and just how sustainable and green these global sports events will be. Starting off with his home city of Birmingham Qasa discovers some of the changes taking place, from stadium infrastructure to transport and offsetting. Will these commonwealth games be the first games with a carbon neutral legacy and set a benchmark for future games?
The sporting world is starting to rise to the challenge, and it must, already major International tournaments are being adversely affected by a warming climate. At the FIFA World Cup in Qatar teams will be playing in artificially cooled stadiums with games held, controversially, in the cooler month of November and December. Qasa finds out if future world class sports events will require radical solutions in a changing climate, and what sporting events can do to curb their own emissions.
Producers for BBC Audio in Bristol: Perminder Khatkar and Helen Lennard
How Green Is My Money?
Making your finances work harder against climate change. Tom Heap speaks to Richard Curtis, British film director and architect of Comic Relief, about his Make My Money Matter campaign. This encourages everyone to find out where their pension money goes. He also speaks to the boss of a UK bank, Bevis Watts, and to the campaign director of switchit.green about how easy it is to move your bank account elsewhere. A special episode for anyone worried about what their money is - or isn't - doing to keep the planet green.
Lisa Stanley of Good With Money
Bevis Watts of Triodos
John Fleetwood of Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research
Sophie Cowen of switchit.green
Richard Curtis of Make My Money Matter
The presenter is Tom Heap and the producer in Bristol is Miles Warde
Green Power in the Far North
Green industry is heading to Scandinavia's far north. Fossil fuel-free steel and clean, green wind energy are in great demand but what does this rapid development mean for the indigenous people of the region? Richard Orange reports from Sweden.
Producer: Alasdair Cross
Millions of trees were brought down by this winter's storms. Storm Arwen in November proved particularly damaging, taking out whole swathes of woodland in Scotland and the north of England. It comes at a time when there is more focus than ever on planting trees, with the urgent need to both tackle climate change and produce more home-grown timber. At the moment, the UK imports more than 80% of the timber it uses.
In this programme, Tom Heap visits two forest estates in the North East of Scotland, to see for himself what havoc the high winds have wrought. One estate manager tells him that they'll be clearing up for the next three years, with an estimated 45,000 tonnes of timber now lying broken on the ground. Tom finds out what this means for the work of foresters on the estate, and how it will affect the value of the timber they'll be able to sell. Meanwhile he discovers why the National Trust for Scotland is seeing the damage caused by Storm Arwen as an opportunity to re-think the kind of woodland it has on its land.
Tom talks to the Royal Forestry Society at their research site in the Chilterns, and finds out what techniques can be used to improve the resilience of woodlands to future storms. He asks whether - when the clear-up is over and it's time to re-plant - we may need to explore using different species of trees, better able to survive in the climate we expect to have in another fifty years' time. He also meets a meteorologist from Reading University, who explains what changing weather patterns may mean for storms in the future.
Producer for BBC Audio in Bristol Emma Campbell
Government Energy Strategy
The government announced its new energy strategy last week, outlining plans to tackle energy supply over the coming decades. In this edition of Costing the Earth, Tom Heap chairs a panel discussion which looks into the detail of the strategy, and asks what it will mean for both net zero targets and household bills. He is joined by a panel of experts: Roz Bulleid, Deputy Policy Director at the independent think tank Green Alliance; Chief Political Commentator at the i-newspaper, Paul Waugh; and environmental journalist, author and campaigner Mark Lynas.
Produced for BBC Audio Bristol by Emma Campbell