International Net Zero Local Leadership Conference

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Outreach & Collaboration

This conference is an unmissable opportunity to agree priorities for local climate action with high-level decision makers in the lead up to COP26.



Date: 13 July 2021
Time: 13.30 - 16.30 BST

As a key milestone for UK locally-elected leaders in the run up to COP26, our international conference this July is an unmissable opportunity to agree priorities for local climate action with high-level decision makers.

Jointly hosted by the Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, our lineup of expert speakers includes COP26 President Alok Sharma MP, Leader of Glasgow City Council Cllr Susan Aitken, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, Helen Hayes MP, CEO of GB&I and Siemens Carl Ennis, Operations Director at National Grid System Operator Duncan Burt, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Rachel Maclean MP.

After an opening plenary we’ll break off into two rounds of in-depth panel discussions across six areas critical to Net Zero (listed below). When you register you’ll be able select one panel from each round. But don’t worry, they will all be available on demand later.

As so many local councils and city regions have committed to an early shift to Net Zero, we will explore how they can accelerate the transition by demonstrating the power and effectiveness of local leadership on climate action.

The conference programme will bring together expert speakers and leading decision-makers from local and national government, business, NGOs, academia and trade bodies. 

They will explore: 

  • The pivotal role local government must play in reaching Net Zero in the UK 
  • The priorities for local climate action that will enable decisive action to achieve Net Zero locally and nationally
  • What needs to change to enable elected local leaders to take faster, fairer climate action.


See all the sessions and confirmed speakers below. We will wrap up each panel with an interactive Q&A.

And remember, when you register you’ll be able select just one panel from each round. But these will be available on demand afterwards if more than two pique your interest.

13.30 - 14.30 - Opening plenary

  • Polly Billington (Chair), Chief Executive, UK100
  • Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
  • Alok Sharma MP, COP26 President, Cabinet Office
  • Carl Ennis, CEO of GB&I, Siemens
  • Duncan Burt, Director of Operations for National Grid System Operator, National Grid
  • Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council
  • Lord Deben, Chairman, Climate Change Committee
  • Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

14.30 - 15.30 - Panels round 1

1. Financing the Net Zero transition

  • Polly Billington (Chair), Chief Executive, UK100
  • Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, Chief Executive, Green Finance Institute 
  • Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol
  • Greg Clark, Group Advisor, Future Cities & New Industries, HSBC UK

2. Delivering Net Zero transport

  • Laura Shoaf (Chair), Managing Director, Transport for West Midlands
  • Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
  • Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport
  • Greg Archer, Director, Transport & Environment UK
  • Neil Isaacson, CEO, Liberty Charge

3. Decarbonising homes and heating

  • Cllr Ian Courts (Chair), Portfolio Lead for Environment, Energy & HS2 at West Midlands Combined Authority and Leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Matthew Bateman, Managing Director, British Gas Services, Centrica 
  • Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Joanne Wheeler, Senior Sustainability Advisor, UKGBC

15.30 - 16.30 - Panels round 2

1. National energy planning for Net Zero

  • Baroness Judith Blake (Chair), Baroness of Leeds
  • Guy Newey, Strategy & Performance Director, Energy Systems Catapult
  • Graeme Cooper, UK Corporate Affairs Director, National Grid
  • Cheryl Hiles, Director, Energy Capital, WMCA

2. Local authority powers for Net Zero

  • Ed Cox (Chair), Director, WMCA
  • Justin Kelly, Director of Corporate Communications and Business Development, Siemens
  • Louise Marix Evans, Director, Quantum
  • Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council

3. Clean air and Net Zero

  • Professor William Bloss, Professor, Air Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Birmingham: Transition Clean Air Network
  • Helen Hayes MP, Executive member of APPG on Air Pollution
  • Jane Burston, Director, Clean Air Fund
  • Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment, Greater London Authority
  • Rebecca Pow MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Defra

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