Sadiq Khan: The people who are giving us hope amid the climate crisis

17 November 2022, 15:33 | Updated: 18 November 2022, 08:17

Sadiq Khan reveals the inspirations behind his Clear the Air podcast
Sadiq Khan reveals the inspirations behind his Clear the Air podcast. Picture: Global

By StephenRigley

The reaction so far to our Clear the Air podcast has been incredible. We knew that the climate crisis can often feel like a daunting topic to engage with for many. So we wanted the podcast to shine a light on those individuals from a range of backgrounds who, despite the odds, are making a real difference and who, through their example, are giving us all hope.

The latest guest on the next instalment of Clear the Air, just released, certainly falls into that bracket. Pete Buttigieg, who became a household name after competing in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, is now the United States Secretary of Transportation and, in his current role, is at the very forefront of US climate policy.

After the calamitous and deeply depressing years of the Trump administration, which saw the US pull out of the Paris climate agreement, there are few people better placed to illuminate how the US under President Biden is back in the game and once again seizing the mantle of international climate leadership.

During our conversation, once nicknamed “Mayor Pete”, talks me through the significance of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Biden a year ago, and the crucial role it stands to play in reducing America’s carbon emissions.

Listen and subscribe on Global Player.

From providing funding to develop a clean power grid, to supporting the creation of a national network of electric vehicle charging points, Pete Buttigieg also kindly gives us the inside track not only on how this flagship piece of legislation was agreed and passed, but its political impact in the context of the recent US midterms.

I hope you can join us for the discussion by downloading episode seven of Clear the Air featuring the US Secretary of Transportation on America’s big promises on climate change. And, after that, don’t miss our final three episodes, with film director and screenwriter Richard Curtis, the Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, and indigenous climate justice activist, Txai Surui.

You can also catch up with previous episodes, which have included some inspiring guests, such as the UK’s longest serving Environment Secretary, Lord Deben, air quality campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah and Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.

I’ve found these interviews to be thought-provoking, informative, engaging and uplifting. And I’m sure you will too.