Session 3

session title

The Challenge of Climate Change

delivered by

  • Chair: Prof Paul Jowitt, President, Commonwealth Engineers Council.
  • Framing presentation: delivered by Ms Rachel Skinner, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Panellists:
    • Mr Lee Siang Tai, Immediate Past President, World Green Building Council
    • Ms Elizabeth Wangeci Chege, Immediate Past President, Kenya Green Building Society and Vice Chair of the Africa Regional Network of the World Green Building Council
    • Ms Nongcebo Hlongwa. Lead, Durban Local Climate Action Plan [unfortunately, Nongcebo was taken ill and unable to join]
  • External voice: Mr Jonathan Duwyn, Programme Manager, GlobalABC, UNEP.


Infrastructure systems are now the number one driver of carbon dioxide emissions across the world.  These emissions are the cause of climate change, every day and everywhere. The aim of the third session in this series is to identify what needs to be done and who needs to do it. And what – and where – will be the consequences if we fail.

Following a short framing presentation by Rachel Skinner, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers, whose Presidency focus is “Shaping Zero”, Rachel was joined by a panel of discussants and the session concluded with time for question and answers from the audience.

This session was first broadcast on 06 May 2021 and was watched by over 132 participants from over 34 countries. The live recording of this session is available to watch at the top of this webpage.

key messages

  • Prof Paul Jowitt: We can’t change history but we can change the future. We should stop looking back but look to the future to work together to save the planet for everybody.
  • Ms Elizabeth Wangeci Chege: What we build today will be the future of tomorrow, we can either be winners or losers of climate change. We need to stop spending on unsustainable infrastructure.
  • Mr Jonathan Duwyn: Governments need to lead by example.
  • Mr Lee Siang Tai: We need to move away from a linear economy and embrace circular economy from the individual level to businesses, to governments.
  • Ms Rachel Skinner: To make a difference, it is vital that we understand the language of carbon and climate.

links to further information

Commonwealth Engineers Council
Institute of Civil Engineers