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Climate change and sustainability podcast recommendations from ACAN

A listening list for your next lockdown walk. George Morgan and Joe Giddings of ACAN pick out some of their sustainability podcast highlights


Outrage + Optimism

Hosted by Global Optimism, an organisation founded by ex-UNFCCC colleagues Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, this podcast channels the 'stubborn optimism' needed to face the cilmate crisis. This episode above explores Prince William's Earthshot Prize – five annual one million-pound prizes awarded for the next 10 years to provide at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.

Joe: This is a good port of call to hear conversation and updates about climate action at the geopolitical scale through interviews with governments, corporations and others that hold vast amounts of power. A good podcast to listen to if you want to be up to date with the bigger movements in the climate fight.


House Planning Help

Ben Adam-Smith runs the website House Planning Help, an independent resource aimed at taking the stress out of self build, with a particular focus on green building. He hosts the podcast of the same name, in which he interviews guests on topics such as retrofitting period properties, Passivhaus, and plant-based building materials.

George: This podcast has some good practical sustainability stuff, albeit focussed on self builders so it is aimed at clients rather than designers.


Weekly Economics Podcast – New Economics Foundation

Hosted by Ayeisha Thomas-Smith, this podcast discusses the economic forces shaping our world critiquing topical themes related to recent news stories. In a recent episode titled 'How do we win a green recovery?' she talks to Chaitanya Kumar, Head of Environment and the Green Transition at the New Economics Foundation and Fatima Zahra-Ibrahim, co-director of Green New Deal UK.

Joe: Great presenting on the economy that makes economics accessible and relatable, and often touches on the climate.


Building Sustainability by Jeffrey Hart

Self employed natural builder, Jeffrey Hart blends tried and tested methods of heritage vernacular building with modern building and material science. In his podcast he chats to “designers, builders, makers, dreamers and doers” with a broad approach to sustainability in the built environment.

George: This podcast is aimed at natural building. There have been some great guests talking about growing plant based insulation and Japanese mud plaster. Though, I’d say it's weak on operational energy and they're all far too long.



Conducted with irreverence by a group of comedians, journalists, anthropologists and car/cyclist forensics experts, this podcast is “about business success and making yourself smarter with the continued psychic trauma of capitalism”. One series ‘Britainology’ explores “the eccentricities and fault lines of this truly normal island”.

Joe: Trashfuture is a Marxist tech-pessimist comedy podcast, which I'd say is tangentially related to sustainability in that it's great at explaining how widely hyped solutions to various issues (electric cars, all tech start-ups etc) are often just ways to grift money out of venture capitalists. It's very funny too.


Reasons to be Cheerful with Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd

Taking an optimistic approach in a pessimistic world, this podcast creates a space for “game-changing policies and movements which are tackling our most pressing issues, head-on”. Recent topics include climate politics, the data economy, and the streaming revolution.

Joe: The two presenters explore ideas for how we could radically reshape our world through conversations with social movements, policymakers and grassroots activists alike. A good podcast to listen to if you want to be inspired and to feel hopeful that humanity has got this!

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