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Podcast marks COP26 summit with university climate change discussion

Date 4.11.2021

A new podcast from the University of Northampton’s Vice Chancellor sees him discuss climate change with a range of education figures from Higher Education.

Professor Nick Petford’s monthly Shout To The Top show for NLive Radio has been released to coincide with the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

You can listen again to the show via the NLive Radio website, or download and listen to the podcast.

The main guest is Bob Ward, policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics

He previously headed up the media team at the Royal Society of London and holds a degree in geology from the University of Liverpool. After graduating in 1987, Bob stated postgraduate research into palaeo piezometer. He’s also worked as a freelance journalist at the Daily Telegraph.

In the podcast Nick also speaks to academic, journalist and administrator, and secretary general of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), Joanna Newman MBE. Joanna is former vice-principal (international) at King’s College London, and before that director of the UK Higher Education International Unit (now known as Universities UK International), and head of Higher Education at the British Library. Joanna is a faculty member in the Department of History at King’s College London, and has taught history at University College London and the University of Warwick.

Professor Judith Petts also contributes to the discussion. Judith studied geography at Exeter University and went into the commercial world, working for Barclays International and in retail planning. She returned to the sector as a researcher at Nottingham and Loughborough universities, completing her PhD by publication from Loughborough on risk management, where, subsequently, she became director at the Centre for Hazard and Risk Management. In 1999, Judith joined the University of Birmingham as head of the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, becoming pro-vice-chancellor for research in 2007. In 2010 she moved to the University of Southampton, first as dean of social sciences and then pro-vice-chancellor research and enterprise and took up her current post as vice-chancellor of the University of Plymouth in February 2016. Judith was awarded a CBE in 2012 for services to scientific research.

Deputy Director of Universities UK’s policy group, Julie Tam, is the fourth podcast guest. Julie has the task of dealing with some of the most significant issues facing the Higher Education sector while leading work on the financial sustainability of universities and climate action. Julie started her career as an economist and has worked as an adviser for the New Zealand and UK governments. Since 2008 Julie has focused on Higher Education issues, working as a management consultant and as a senior policy analyst, before joining UUK in 2012.

Representing the University of Northampton is Victoria Blake, who has more than 18 years’ experience of working in sustainable development. She leads the Environment and Sustainability Team with the responsibility for developing and delivering our sustainability plans. Prior to joining the University, Victoria worked in the construction sector as sustainability manager at BRE Ltd, where she was responsible for the management and implementation of its sustainability plan. Victoria’s job is to strike the right balance between the objectives and requirements of the University with those of the natural environment.

The podcast also features cllr Pinder Chauhan, who was first elected in 2017 as a Northamptonshire county councillor, and then re-elected in 2021 as a unitary councillor for West Northamptonshire. Cllr Chauhan is the assistant cabinet member for corporate services, which includes flooding and flood defence responsibilities. Pinder is the Association Chair for South Northamptonshire Conservatives, and Regional Chairman of the East Midlands Conservative Women’s Organisation. She also works for a Global Early Years education provider, and is in her final year of an MBA.