Menu Close

The left behind. Climate Fight podcast part 3 transcript

A pile of coal at a mine.
How to make sure the shift away from coal is part of a just transition? Artur_Nyk/Shutterstock

This is a transcript of The left behind, part three of Climate Fight: the world’s biggest negotiation, a series from The Anthill podcast. In this episode, we talk to experts about how countries make sure not to leave people behind and widen inequalities as they shift away from fossil fuels.

NOTE: Transcripts may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting in print

Gaile Stevens: The wildlife and the regeneration has really taken off in the last two, three years.

Jack: And so where we are now, you’re saying that it’s quite a useful habitat for wildflowers and for bees. I mean, it certainly looks quite

Gaile: It’s extraordinary

Jack: Yeah, like just up on the hill there we can see - is that heather?

Gaile: Yeah, starting to come and there’s sandstone cliffs and there’s a massive bird colony further on down there as well.

Jack: What kind of birds is it?

Gaile: Cormorants and seabirds, huge, huge population.

Jack: Cumbria is a region of northern England known for its natural beauty. I’m on a walk on its coastline with a local resident, Gaile Stevens.

The field I’m walking through now looks like it could be a nature reserve. Except it’s not. We’re just outside the town of Whitehaven, and this is an old chemical production site that nature has started to take over. And could be the site of a future coal mine.

Gaile: As we come up and through the site, it’s a huge site. Okay, so let’s have a further look for more and you’ll see, Jack.

Jack: Over the past few years the proposed Cumbria coal mine has become a topic of hot national debate in the UK. The mine would be for coking coal. That’s the type used to make steel. Cumbrian councillors first voted to approve the mine in 2019, granting permission for coal mining at the site until 2049. But that’s not the end of the story. There’s an ongoing battle for the mine’s future.

Since 2019, campaigners and public figures in the UK and abroad have mounted criticisms. The national government has since intervened, starting a public inquiry on the issue which began in September 2021. But a decision on the fate of the mine isn’t expected until after COP26.

Coal pollutes more than any fossil fuel, and it was already on the way out of the UK. The country has no current deep coal mines, and as part of its net zero by 2050 strategy, the government wants steelmakers to use low carbon fuels for steelmaking – like hydrogen – instead of coking coal.

Read more: Cumbria coal mine could usher in a net-zero-compliant fossil fuel industry – or prove it was always a fantasy

But local support for the mine remains strong. And the main reason why? Jobs.

Jack: As countries work to cut out coal and other fossil fuels some people will feel the pain more than others. Specifically, the people who rely on the industry for work or hope it will bring new jobs to their community.

This mine is one example of what’s going on in the UK’s struggle to get off of fossil fuels, all as it prepares to host COP26.

As we transition to a greener economy, it’s important not to leave people behind. People call this a “just transition”.

Here’s Rebecca Ford, a senior lecturer in energy policy at the University of Strathclyde, and UKRI COP26 fellow, to explain what it the term means.

Rebecca Ford: I think we have to recognise that we are in a transition, the world is on a massive challenge and endeavour to reduce our carbon emissions. We are really embarking on a transition that is going to affect every person in the world on a fundamental level, whether at home or in our work. A just transition brings people back into the decision-making frameworks. And what it starts to do is recognise that these transitions are going to have a massive impact on people across the world.

By bringing the focus back to people, we start to think about how these impacts might be distributed and how people can be engaged in this transition so that we don’t end up just widening inequalities and really affecting poor and marginalised communities.

Jack: I’m Jack Marley and you’re listening to Climate Fight: The world’s biggest negotiation. This is episode three: the left behind.

Jack: The gulls remind me that I’m close to the sea. I’m in Workington, a town in Cumbria. And I’m here to explore what we’ll look at for the whole episode: the trade offs that happen in the shift to cleaner energy, where this transition has been done badly, and where it succeeded, and what it all means for our collective future.

COP26: the world's biggest climate talks

This story is part of The Conversation’s coverage on COP26, the Glasgow climate conference, by experts from around the world.
Amid a rising tide of climate news and stories, The Conversation is here to clear the air and make sure you get information you can trust. More.

I was supposed to meet someone called Kallum White. Unfortunately, he had to cancel when he got COVID, so I had a video call with him instead.

Jack: Thanks very much for making time to speak to us, Kallum. Sorry to hear about your illness, but it’s been really great to have your perspective on this. So thanks for agreeing to speak today.

Jack: Kallum’s a 20-year-old who lives in Workington. It’s a town a short drive north of Whitehaven, where the proposed mine would be built. And he’s in favour of the mine.

Kallum: It’s basically because of the local areas of unemployment and just the amount of mental health issues in this area, which has been caused solely by unemployment itself. Which I think it’s a no-brainer. We’ve got a major opportunity coming. Why turn it down?

Jack: You’ve lived and worked in Workington your whole life, I take it. Can you just give us a sense of how difficult it is to find work there?

Kallum: I was made redundant last October. I’d been off work ever since until now. Luckily I will be starting a new job as a trainee bus driver. I was working in a warehouse delivering furniture and – sorry for coughing so much – and we literally got a phone call one day and we was told to all go in and they said we can’t keep you in an employment. And I was actually one of the lucky ones. People over in the sister store, on the day of the first lockdown they were laid off.

Jack: Walking around Workington, it wasn’t hard to find old pieces of a distant past.

So that looks like a working men’s club that’s now closed, it looks like it’s been boarded up for some time as well. When there would have been industry here, presumably a lot of men after work would have gone to drink there and I think that a lot of places in towns like this where they used to have an industry, those places have either closed as this one has, or they are typically only visited by older people.

Kallum would like to see his community get a new start.

Jack: If we added the coal mine to that equation, how would things change do you think?

Kallum: It would mean locals would be here longer. You could have generational workers there, so you’ve got the father, the son. And then businesses what I’ve seen the decline because they haven’t had enough custom through the doors that would increase, expenditure in the area would increase as well because people aren’t on minimum wage anymore, they’re on a higher income which means we can go out to that furniture shop and buy a fancy new bed what we couldn’t maybe afford.

Jack: I’m curious as well though. I mean you’re obviously pretty confident about the prospects that the mine would have for local employment. Where do you get that sense of confidence from, why do you trust that the mine would be so beneficial for employment and for like local prosperity?

Kallum: Talking to a lot of the older generations in Workington here and they talk about the past a lot about here. And around here, we had a steel works, we had mines, but when the mines shut we still had the steel works. Whitehaven was quite a popular harbour, we had lots of factories around here, I mean, I’ve seen factories shut down in my lifetime.

And the town centres were always busy, there were lots of shops, lots of restaurants, lots of cafes. And, as I say in my lifetime, I’ve seen things closed down. Businesses what used to be there, what used to be popular shut down. And you just hear a lot of people talking about the good times of how the towns used to be so successful.

Jack: West Cumbria is a former industrial heartland, Workington had an iron and steel industry, but it closed in 2006. Since the 1970s, several coal mines have closed, and the Sellafield nuclear complex, which employed thousands, is being decommissioned.

Jack: I know as well that your region has stuff quite a lot as a result of, you know, more intense floods and stuff like that. Could you tell me a little bit more about climate change in your part of the world?

Kallum: I can say a lot about climate change. To be fair, like I’m really into meteorology and geology itself. So, in 2015 and 2016, we had storm Desmond, which happened over two months – not the storm itself - but the flooding. Glenridding, I think it flooded about seven times in one week.

So climate change is here and it is a major, major, major issue for this county as well as any other place. I can still remember watching the river flowing right though Hall Park. The county was absolutely gridlocked, because we haven’t got a lot of infrastructure, we don’t have major motorways like they do down in London. So when the flooding happens, everything stops. People are sent home, and then you’re out of work for a bit until everything gets back up and running again.

Jack: That must be quite conflicting for you personally, I imagine, you know, having these experiences of, you know, the impact of climate change you and your family have seen and your own interest in meteorology and I imagine that’s sort of quite a difficult thing to have to sort of deal with the knowledge of that climate change is a big threat to your region and also the role that coal and fossil fuels have in contributing to climate change. How do you sort of see the role of this new mine within the context of this growing threat from climate change?

Kallum: Well, I have been reading on the mine’s policies and they are trying to be green as physically possible, but at the end of the day they go underground, they are taking coking coal out the ground. So there is going to be carbon dioxide released, CO2, whatever you want to call it. There will be pollution. But I think you’ve got to look at the area itself and I can’t stress when the area’s crying, mental health, poverty, depression, sadly, I do know people who will have suddenly committed suicide. It’s linked to mental health. Job loss is linked to mental health. So it comes in a nasty cycle.

So I think this mine might give us an opportunity to start fixing that. And then once people are like doing better with the jobs, you can think like how do we make this place greener, how do we make that place greener.

Jack: When you think of Cumbria you might think of the Lake District, a popular tourist destination in England for people who want to enjoy the outdoors. But in the coastal towns where Kallum lives, locals will tell you their lives are different.

Kallum: Culturally it’s a drastic change. Again, on the west coast, you can talk in Cumbrian dialect, you know, I can count in Cumbrian. Where I can guarantee you most people in the Lake District can’t count in Cumbrian.

Kallum: (speaks Cumbrian)… and I can speak Cumbrian as well. So if you want to say “look”, you’ll say “deek”, or “let’s go out for a gander”; “I’m going for a walk”.

Kallum: There’s a lot more houses in the Lake District what are worth millions. Where houses on the west coast aren’t worth millions, they’re worth 80 grand (£80,000), or 310 grand if it’s a fancy house. It is like two different worlds, either side of the county.

Jack: Have you ever considered moving somewhere else to find work?

Kallum: Yes, I am. Yes, I have considered moving. And to be fair I do still consider moving abroad or just in the country itself. I’m not too sure where I would go. I mean, I fancy the idea of working on cruise ships or but you never know. But I mean, if something happened to this area where the mine did open and I was offered to employment at the mine itself, I would absolutely take the hand off it. Yeah, I love having a family so close by – a family and friends – because if you’re in town centre, you’re guaranteed to see somebody who you know, you’ll talk for ages.

Jack: If there was an opportunity for other work in Workington or in Cumbria in any other industry would you also be sort of interested in staying and finding work there, or is there just something that’s, you know, uniquely appealing about a coal mine?

Kallum: No, any other major industry what came to this county and this area I’m not bothered what it is to be fair. The mine’s the only thing what’s on the table, I’d rather have the mine than nothing. But let’s say it said, “oh, we’re going to build a windmill farm” where we build windmills or something like that, or build a brand new dam. I’d look into it, yeah. I’d look into anything. Or if a car company said we want to build electric cars in Cumbria, go ahead. It’s going to employ hundreds: let’s do it, why not? The mine is the only thing on the table. And when these people are kicking off saying we don’t want the mind cause it’s bad for the environment, but what else can they offer?

Jack: The mine offered locals a plan. But there are those who are pushing for greener alternatives even if they remain less tangible. And one of those people is Gaile Stevens, who we heard at the beginning at the proposed mine site.

Jack: For years, this was the site of Marchon Works.

Gaile: They made chemicals, they pumped them out all over the town, but it was work, and they were her prestigious company in their time.

Jack: Surrounded by wildflowers, it seems as if the place is regenerating. But other parts of the site show signs that it was just kind of abandoned when it closed in 2005. We walk up to a boarded-up building and someone’s knocked a whole through part of it, and we can see inside.

Gaile: So they’ve broken in the office, they’ve left the paperwork and all sorts sitting in there. So they obviously didn’t do a very thorough job of clearing out.

Jack: And Christmas decorations by the looks of it.

What kind of impact did that have on – the loss of Marchon the chemical works – what kind of impact did that have on the local community?

Gaile: Well, it’s like every time Whitehaven has lost a source of employment. You know, they would have been a fair number of people employed on this site in its heyday. There were, and when that went, that was a huge blow. But as I say, Whitehaven historically has had really good sources of employment, and then for some reason somebody pulls the plug and they’re left yet again with nothing.

Jack: Gaile and others don’t think the mine is a long-term solution either. They say it won’t last long because the UK has pledged to be net zero, and part of that plan is using alternatives to make steel in the near future.

Gaile: This country is moving on and we need, for the people of this area, we need jobs that are going to be secure, long term. I’ve been looking into the recycling and regrading of sea plastics. Whitehaven’s ideally placed to collect and reprocess sea plastic. We’re on a natural collection point on the Solway Firth.

Jack: So this is where plastic just naturally accumulates…

Gaile: On beaches, yeah.

Jack: Because of the currents.

Gaile: Yeah.

Jack: Gaile didn’t grow up around here and she says that sometimes people see her as an outsider. But she’s been spending her days trying to bring green jobs to the community. She was laid off during the pandemic, and says she can empathise with the need to find work, any work.

Gaile: I have been working with Friends of the Earth and a couple of other organisations and we are really serious about talking to people and changing hearts and minds. So we’ve got leaflets that are going out about green, sustainable jobs.

Jack: Gaile’s been meeting with investors to share her hopes of a sea plastic recycling facility, and also turning Whitehaven into a town where more tourists might want to visit. Others are lobbying local government to provide green jobs in public transport and insulating houses.

Gaile and others don’t believe the 500-plus jobs the West Cumbria Mining promise the new mine would create will stay in the community, they think they’ll go to highly trained engineers from elsewhere.

During the inquiry into the mine, a company representative said they would fill 80% of the jobs using local people. But remember, the results from this inquiry, which will decide whether the coal mine actually goes ahead, isn’t expected until after COP26.

Jack: So we’ve left the west coast and Whitehaven and we’re now driving deep into the Lake District on our way to Kendal. It’s a very dramatic landscape. We’re sort of driving through a valley and on either side are these really towering hills that we can’t even really see the top of cause they’re obscured by cloud. We’re passing fields of sheep. Small villages. Picturesque cottages. And it seems more remote from the problems of deprivation and unemployment that we heard so much about in Whitehaven and Workington.

Jack: We’ve headed this way to meet with Rebecca Willis. She’s a professor at Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University, and she’s been following the developments of the Cumbria coal mine carefully and using her research background to help stop it.

Jack: Do you think the government has an obligation to provide green jobs to the region or just simply jobs, period?

Rebecca: Well, the government has to provide green jobs because it has to provide jobs or facilitate jobs and it has to meet carbon targets. So that’s a non-question as far as I’m concerned. All jobs should be green jobs, really.

Jack: During our visit to Cumbria, people often talked to us about how West Cumbria Mining courted locals. They made sure to talk to people in the community, and tell them about the prospect of work for local people if only the mine were approved.

Jack: What, if anything, do you think the sort of anti-mine groups or other environmental groups can learn from the way in which West Cumbria Mining is engaged with the community and indeed engaged with the government? Do you think there is anything to be learned there from how to reach out to communities like those in Whitehaven and to work with the government?

Rebecca: On the one hand West Cumbria Mining’s tactics are straight out of the playbook of the big oil companies and other sort of giant carbon polluters, and I wouldn’t for a second want anyone to think that was a good thing to copy.

What I would say, maybe in the past, environmentalists haven’t done enough to talk to communities, starting from where they are. There’s always a tendency for the environment movement to speak to its base, which is not exclusively, but generally, sort of middle-class metropolitan big city. And I don’t think there has been so much focus on other places, you know, like west Cumbria, smaller towns, more remote areas, more sort of industrial employment areas, that sort of thing, they’re not natural bedfellows for the environment movement. And that, you know, is really vital that the environment movement really tries to extend its reach.

And one of the best ways they can do that is by actually, properly listening. Which, it sounds a bit airy fairy, but I’m really serious about that. You know, go into those areas, don’t tell him anything, just sit down and listen and start a dialogue, and then talk about climate.

Jack: We reached out to West Cumbria Mining for a response to Rebecca’s claim that the company has borrowed tactics from oil companies. At the time of recording we haven’t received a response.

Jack: In a big picture sense, what do you think are the most pertinent lessons for climate policy in all this?

Rebecca: So I think there’s at least two very different lessons. The first is that we need absolute clarity on how we meet our carbon targets. So we need to get rid of this ambiguity that stalks climate policy. We need very clear targets and strategies for different industrial sectors. And we need targets and strategies for local areas, and we need much more responsibility and control given to local areas. So I think that’s lesson number one.

And lesson number two is that you can’t do climate policy without people noticing, you know, it’s going to be a huge shift what’s happening – how we travel about, how we live in our homes and, and to what jobs we do – and the idea that you can, that shift can happen without people noticing, or that people are just going to sort of roll over and accept it without debate is really strange, I think, and yet that’s the assumption we’ve been working to. So I think that there needs to be much more focus on having a really honest dialogue with people and accepting as well that they have expertise and views and values that you should bring to the table.

So, take west Cumbria. I would really love to have a proper discussion with people in west Cumbria about what they want their place to look like, what jobs they want to have in the future. And as part of that, to talk about responding to the climate emergency and getting their views on what their contribution should be, you know, we can’t negotiate on the targets, we’ve got to get to net zero, that’s non-negotiable, but there’s lots of ways that we can do that, that make west Cumbria a better place, that would improve people’s lives, and the best way of finding out what those are is to ask people.

Jack: One issue Rebecca sees with the way in which countries are pursuing climate action is that local governments have the legal obligation to hit climate targets, but they do have the authority to approve planning for developments like coal mines.

Rebecca: At the moment it’s really not clear at all what local areas and what local governments should be contributing to that overall target of net zero by 2050. So, you know, there’s a lot of vague wording about how local areas should tackle the climate crisis and so on, but it’s not set down anywhere, how they should do that. And given that local authorities in this country are pretty powerless and definitely broke, it’s very hard for them actually to be on the front foot on this. So I think what’s needed is to give them much clearer responsibilities. So, you know, actually devolve carbon targets. Say “these are the carbon savings we expect from you”.

In all the public engagement work I’ve done on climate, it’s really clear that people want local solutions. They want that they want their own local areas to be in the driving seat.

Jack: West Cumbria has something new: a citizen’s jury on climate change, where locals will talk to each other and experts about how to tackle the climate crisis.

Rebecca: And they can give their views about what sorts of approaches would really work for them. So, we know that we need to insulate our houses and switch to zero-carbon heating. Well, people have really good expertise from their own lives about how best to do that, how to pay for it, what kinds of changes they’d want to see to their houses. On transport as well, people are experts in their own lives. They know what journeys they need to make, they know what might allow them to use their car less and use public transport or walking and cycling more.So you can really get into the detail of that debate and see how you can get a net zero strategy that really fits with the grain of people’s lives.

So, you know, maybe if we’d had a climate jury ten years ago on the west coast of Cumbria, we could have actually worked with local people to shape a climate strategy that really worked for them and really looked at those opportunities for green jobs and zero carbon jobs, so that we wouldn’t be in this position we’re in now where we are essentially having to choose between dirty jobs and no jobs. We could have had that kind of forward look and work with local people to shape a future that works for them and works for our net zero target.

Jack: The coal mine in Cumbria isn’t running yet, and depending on what politicians decide, it’s possible that it never will. But what about when existing coal mines close because of the global push to move away from fossil fuels. Has this ever gone well?

Kieran Harrahill: My name is Kieran Harrahill and I am a PhD candidate with University College Dublin. So, I’m a PhD candidate looking at the bio economy and the potential for it to support a just transition for agriculture. And my previous research with my colleague, Dr Owen Douglas from UCD, we looked at the application of just transition in a number of coal-dependent jurisdictions.

Jack: In one of these coal-dependent jurisdictions – Victoria, Australia – things didn’t go so well when the local mine closed in 2017.

Kieran: It’s a unique type of closure because it wasn’t based over a long term. Rather, the closure of the mine happened very quickly over a period of five months. And this meant that while trade unions were able to receive some compensation for workers, because it was such a quick timescale it was difficult for them to be able to provide support for the wider community in terms of what would happen once the coal sector went into decline.

A second factor which made the transition very difficult for the region was the antagonistic relationship between the national government, which comes from a more conservative outlook on aspects like climate action, and the local government, which was led by a labour party.

So the national government presented the viewpoint that it was very much a trade-off between jobs and the environment. That example in Australia is a very good example of where, when there’s an antagonistic relationship between relevant bodies responsible for managing the closure of a coal mine, as well as the fact that there’s very little lead-in or the ability to plan for what will happen once the coal mine closes down, it’s an example of why there will be challenges and that that can lead to difficulties for the workers and the communities who are dependent on the coal mines for employment.

Jack: And how many people were actually involved in that closure?

Kieran: The closure of the coal mine itself, there were around 300 contractors as well as 495 staff who were directly employed within the coal mine. So what that goes to show is not only is there the obvious difficulty in terms of the coal mines being closed, but also there is the broader impacts on a community.

So one study found that for every one job within the coal sector, there are about four to five different related jobs. So that might come from engineering and construction and materials needed for the coal mining process, but there are also the broader jobs which come from retail or from public services, like education and healthcare.

Jack: Kieran told me about another case where a coal mine closed in Germany.

Kieran: One of the most fundamental aspects in terms of the case of North Rhine-Westphalia was that in 2007, the German government brought in the Hard Coal Financing Act. And what this meant was that funding for coal mines would cease to operate. But one major difference between the German case and the Australian case was that the coal mines weren’t to close until 2018.

Jack: This gave 11 years to plan and prepare for what would happen after the mines closed down.

Kieran: And one of the biggest differences between the German case and the Australian case was that there was a far more collaborative approach to decision making and in the planning of the transition. So what we see within the case of North Rhine-Westphalia is that there has been a big emphasis on green jobs.

So within 2017, Essen, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, was named as Europe’s green capital. So this is a really good example of whereby, when there’s long-term planning in place, and that there are opportunities and supports provided for a transition from a fossil-based economy to a renewables-based economy, that it can create new jobs for workers and that it can bring new opportunities in terms of the end of coal does not mean the end of these communities as well.

Jack: And so what kind of jobs were they, what kind of new work did they manage to create?

Kieran: The primary focus is on the manufacturing of renewables. So what you see is, for example, windmills and solar PV, and there has been a big emphasis on green infrastructure within accommodation. So that means providing new types of renewable energy to houses.

Jack: Making plans for workers isn’t just about protecting people, Kieran says. There’s a huge political risk to not include these workers in plans for what comes after a shift away from fossil fuels.

Kieran: So one of the leading researchers in Ireland on the broad concept of just transition or moving away from pollution practices is someone called Sean McCabe. And in a report he published last year called The People’s Transition he made the point that there is no trade off between the fastest transition and the fairest transition, because the fairest transition is the fastest transition. Because if it’s a case that the move away from fossil fuels like coal takes place on very much a top down approach whereby government makes decisions and communities have to adapt without any support, that will undoubtedly lead to resistance among communities because the source of income for them and for our generations before them will have disappeared.

And that would mean that there’s a great level of uncertainty as to what will take place, and what will the future be like? So if it’s a case that government doesn’t provide a seat at the table for workers and communities, that it doesn’t provide a clear plan for what the investment will be and what the new jobs will be, it’s very likely then that communities will look to support for candidates who are saying that they are going to retain coal jobs and that they are going to retain fossil fuel employments.

So one of the clearest examples of that was when you would look at the campaign trail at the 2016 American presidential election. You would often see the signs of “Trump digs coal” because Donald Trump was someone who was, you know, positioned as an anti- climate action candidate who was going to retain coal jobs. Now, following the end of Trump’s time at the presidency, these areas, there hasn’t been an increase to any great extent in terms of coal mine jobs. So it is a clear example whereby governments have to take action to meet climate actions, but it’s imperative that they do so in a manner where they listen to the workers, they hear what their concerns are, and they include them in the future development plans for these communities who have been dependent on fossil fuels for generations.

Because if they don’t, if it’s a case that workers in communities aren’t included, well then that would just slow down climate policy. And at the end of the day, we don’t have any time to be waiting. There is an imperative need for climate action. So the only way that that can be done as quickly as possible is by ensuring that workers and communities are involved in processes so that they feel confident that there is a future for them and further communities when the process of coal mining ends.

Jack: In every episode so far, we’ve heard that some voices are more powerful than others. We’re only a couple of weeks away from COP26.

But before these politicians and their negotiation teams meet, another group will gather in Scotland for a four day event: young people, who have a unique stake in the future of the planet.

And that’s what we’ll talk about next time.

Harriet Thew: In terms of this idea of “when you grow up you’ll understand that it’s more complicated”, and “you’re too naïve”, and “this is too, kind of, idealised”, I’ve noticed that a lot of the time young people are a bit ahead of the curve in what they’re asking for.

Jack: Thanks to everybody who spoke to us for this episode. The Anthill is produced by The Conversation in London. You can get in touch with us on on Twitter @TC_Audio, on Instagram at theconversationdotcom or email us on And you can also sign up for our free daily email by clicking the link in the show notes.

If you’re enjoying the series, please follow the show, and leave a rating or review wherever podcast apps allow you to. Please tell your friends and family about the show too.

Climate fight, the world’s biggest negotiation is produced for The Conversation by Tiffany Cassidy. Sound design is by Eloise Stevens and the series theme tune is by Neeta Sarl. Our editor is Gemma Ware and production help comes from Holly Stevens. Thanks also go to Will de Freitas, Stephen Harris, Jo Adetunji, Chris Waiting, Khalil Cassimally, Katie Francis, Alice Mason and Zoe Jazz at The Conversation. To James Harper and his team at UKRI. And to Imriel Morgan and Sharai White for helping us to promote the series.

I’m Jack Marley. Thanks for listening.

Want to write?

Write an article and join a growing community of more than 158,700 academics and researchers from 4,548 institutions.

Register now