Ms Jane Davidson
Jane Davidson is the Chair of Wales Net Zero 2035 and the author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country – the story of how Wales became the first country in the world to legislate in the interest of future generations.
She is a patron of the UK Chartered Institute of Ecologists and Environmental Managers and Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. From 2000 – 2011, she was Cabinet Minister for Education, then Environment and Sustainability in Wales where she proposed legislation to make sustainability the central organising principle of government: the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act came into law in 2015. She introduced the first plastic bag charge in the UK, and her recycling regulations took Wales to among the best in the world. She created a Climate Change Commission for Wales, the post of Sustainable Futures Commissioner, One Planet Developments and the Wales Coast Path.
Mr Stanley Townsend
Stan is the Secretary for the Group, having recently moved back home to Wales to pursue more ambitious climate action. Stan has worked in a number of roles within UK government, including: net zero strategy, green finance and circular economy policy. Stan joins the Group from the Cabinet Office, where he was a UK negotiator within the United Nations climate process, attending COP26 and COP27.
Stan is hopeful that the Group can push forward holistic, meaningful action that makes Wales a more thriving and resilient country. Whilst demonstrating to the world the courage and ambition truly needed in this critical decade.
Ms Olafiyin Taiwo
Olaifiyin is the Group’s Minutes Secretary. She is a Chartered Town Planner committed to improving the quality of life and experiences of communities in a way that promotes common interest. She has extensive experience leading climate action programmes to deliver effective carbon reduction, capacity building and behavioural change across public, private, and civil society sectors at local, regional and international levels. Her work focuses on integrated approaches to urban development for the creation of sustainable cities and human settlements that are safe, healthy, and resilient.
She is currently a doctoral researcher at the University College London. She serves as the Chair of the Commonwealth Association of Planners Young Planners Network and Co-chair of the UN-Habitat Planners for Climate Action (Education and Capacity Building). Also, she is a steering committee member of the CSET Youth Action Group and the Commonwealth Youth for Sustainable Urbanisation.
Mr Paul Allen, Centre for Alternative Technology
Paul joined the Centre for Alternative Technology in 1988, helping develop a range of renewable energy systems including solar medical systems. Since 2007, he has been a key part of CAT’s ground-breaking Zero Carbon Britain research team; liaising directly with Government, business, public sector and the arts. Paul also regularly presents this research at official UNFCCC side-events at COP summits.
Mr Jyoti Banerjee, North Star Transition
Jyoti leads Wales Transition Lab, a place-based forum which brings together unlikely allies from different disciplines and cultures from across the nation to reframe problems, identify obstacles of change, and create novel co-creative solutions. The goal of Wales Transition Lab is to ‘imagineer’ a Wales that reconnects, food, health and nature.
Jyoti hopes that the work of the Wales Net Zero 2035 group will use the high values of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act to tackle the super-wicked problem of the climate / biodiversity / inequalities emergency we face. It is only through taking a wider lens that we will be able to take head-on the defining crisis-opportunity of our generation.
Prof. Gavin Bunting, Swansea University
Gavin is a Professor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Swansea University. He chairs the Circular Economy and Research and Innovation Group, Wales (CERIG) bringing together circular economy expertise throughout Wales. Materials Engineer by background, his research and teaching is focused on circular economy, life cycle analysis, sustainability and environmental policy.
Gavin is delighted to sit on the Net Zero Wales 2035 Challenge Group, recognising the importance of circular economy in reducing emissions. His ambition for the group is to inspire transformative change, which embraces the Wellbeing for Future Generations Act to deliver a sustainable and just transition. Wales, again, has the opportunity to lead the way, demonstrating what can be achieved when there is real commitment for change.
Mr Ben Burgraaf, Net Zero Industry Wales (observer)
In 2022 Ben was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for a newly established body called Net Zero Industry Wales, supporting the industrial clusters in Wales on their Journey to Net Zero.
Ben is looking forward to supporting industry in Wales and their stakeholders, to make Wales the country of choice for sustainable goods and services. The work done by the South Wales Industrial Cluster and its partners, has built a great foundation to start developing a truly sustainable, prosperous and resilient industry across the whole of Wales. I truly believe that this is key to creating a healthier, more equal and cohesive Wales.
Dr David Clubb, National Infrastructure Commission Wales (observer)
David Chairs the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales; he is passionate about the long-term future for Wales, and uses the role to challenge orthodoxy in a range of areas. He changed the remit of the Commission to encompass 80 years in the future, and has innovated in policy and communication.
David is a passionate advocate for open source software and social media platforms. He has been a moderator on the Welsh Mastodon instance, toot.wales, and is now a member of its governing Board. In February 2022 he published Afallen’s first white paper, on the value of open source to Wales.
Ms Sarah Dickins, independent
Sarah Dickins has for the last ten years been BBC Wales Economics Correspondent, and prior to that was Business Correspondent and Presenter for BBC1 and BBC 2. Sarah is now working independently as a Sustainable Economics Adviser to help companies and organisations overcome barriers to their Net Zero targets.
She is looking forward to contributing to the Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group. She hopes to use her experience to inspire sustainable change and overcome perceived barriers.
Mr Will Evans, The Oxford Farming Conference
Will is a mixed enterprise farmer from Wrexham, where his family have farmed for hundreds of years. Will is also the current chair of the Oxford Farming Conference and write a weekly column in Farmer’s Weekly.
In his Will’s words “as a farmer I’m uniquely placed to be able to help, and the decisions that I and my fellow farmers make in the way we manage our land can have a huge impact on our entire society in Wales now, and for generations to come. However, we need the support of wider society and Government in order to be able to put these positive changes in place, and I hope that by becoming part of the Wales Net Zero 2035 Group I can help make a difference so we can find a way forward together”.
Dr David Joffe, Committee on Climate Change (observer)
David is Head of Net Zero and Acting Director of Analysis at the Climate Change Committee, statutory advisors to Government and Parliament on climate change, where he’s worked since 2007. He leads the Committee’s advice on the levels of emissions reduction targets and on energy-related pathways to meet Net Zero, and is currently overseeing the analytical programme across the organisation.
He oversaw the scenario analysis and recommendations for the CCC’s 2020 advice on the Sixth Carbon Budget that set out five pathways to Net Zero for the UK. He has also led all of the Committee’s advice to Wales since 2017 on the design and level of the emissions targets under the Environment (Wales) Act.
Mr Keith Jones, National Trust
Keith Jones has worked on organisational and community sustainability for over two decades. He is the National Trust’s National Specialist on Climate Change, leading on the organisation’s transition and challenges posed by a changing climate.
Keith is passionate about community sustainability having been the inspiration and driver behind many successful community energy cooperatives who are today delivering sustainability at scale in their communities.
Keith is excited by the possibilities that Net Zero Wales 2035 Challenge Group has to recommend but also that any recommendations have to be equitable, deliverable and grounded in reality
Prof. Hillary Kennedy, University of Bangor
Hilary Kennedy is a biogeochemist whose research focusses on wetland carbon cycling and greenhouse gas emissions and removals, with particular interest in coastal ecosystems and their role in mitigating climate change.
In the last 20 years her research experience has been focussed on seagrass ecosystems in Asia and Europe. She is currently chair of the UK Blue Carbon forum, which aims to be a positive, solutions-focused group committed to cross-sector collaboration and the incorporation of blue carbon into the UK’s climate mitigation strategy.
Mr Matthew Knight, Siemens Energy
Matthew Knight is Head of Market and Government Affairs for Siemens Energy in the UK, where he spends his time making sense of the energy transition to net zero. He has a background in electricity grid projects and offshore wind farms.
As a member of the Net Zero Wales 2035 Challenge Group I hope to bring an insight into energy systems, how to decarbonise them and what gets businesses and their supply chains to invest in and deliver energy infrastructure.
Prof. Karen Morrow, Swansea University
Karen Morrow is Professor in Environmental Law, Swansea University. Her research interests centre on public participation in environmental law and policy making, with particular emphasis on global climate change governance, sustainability law and policy and their intersection with gender matters, and she has published extensively in these areas.
Karen is delighted to sit on the Net Zero Wales 2035 Challenge Group, recognising that a legal perspective has much to add to the innovative cross-disciplinary conversation that it is undertaking to develop recommendations facilitating a step change in Wales’s progress towards net zero. She believes that the unique legal provision on sustainability and the environment that applies in Wales offers significant opportunities to cultivate the all-Wales approach to the urgent challenges of living well and within our environmental means, both locally and globally, in the short and long term, that is essential in the face of the triple environmental crisis.
Dr Eurgain Powell, public sector
Dr Eurgain Powell is an experienced sustainability practitioner with 20 years of experience of working on sustainable development and climate change. She has advised on policy development across transport, decarbonisation, procurement and housing, and was recently included on the Future Generations Commissioner’s Changemaker 100 list.
Eurgain is currently a Sustainable Development Programme Manager for Public Health Wales’ Health and Sustainability Hub. In 2022 she was appointed to the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales, and was a member of the Roads Review Panel from 2021-22.
Eurgain is looking forward to contributing to the work of the Net Zero Wales 2035 Challenge group. With progressive, world-leading legislation, Wales is showing that it wants to take a different path – one that can develop solutions to climate, nature and social challenges in a way that supports well-being today and for future generations.
Mr Ben Rawlence, Black Mountains College
Ben Rawlence is a writer, activist and educator. He has worked in formal politics, social movements and NGOs. He has written three books, most recently, ‘The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth’ (Penguin, 2022). He is the founder and director of Black Mountains College, a new college devoted to climate action and adaptation.
Ben hopes the 2035 challenge group can inspire ambition in Wales to seize the opportunity that small nations have to set an example for other countries.
Mr Andy Regan, Nesta Cymru (observer)
Andy leads Nesta’s A Sustainable Future mission in Wales, which focuses on accelerating the decarbonisation of homes. Before joining Nesta Andy worked at independent think tank the IWA (Institute of Welsh Affairs), overseeing a policy research strategy to contribute to a successful, clean, green and fair economy, and stronger, more confident democracy in Wales. Prior to that Andy specialised in energy policy in roles at Ofgem, and Citizens Advice – co-chairing the Fuel Poverty Coalition Cymru.
Dr Jennifer Rudd, Swansea University
Dr Jennifer Rudd is a senior lecturer at Swansea University’s School of Management, teaching on environmental management and sustainability. She has a background in climate techno-fixes including dye-sensitised solar cells, hydrogen production and carbon utilisation. She moved from developing techno-fixes to effecting behavioural change. Since 2018 she has launched an interdisciplinary climate change education programme, You and CO2, to effect behavioural change in secondary school pupils, worked with the public and third sector to embed circular economy principles within their operations, helped developed a primary school education programme on fast fashion and collaborated on climate change education for teachers in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Jennifer is a proud climate activist, house retrofitter and No Fly pledger, and is looking forward to working with the Net Zero Wales 2035 Group to push beyond business as usual. She hopes that the work done by the group will give her 7 year old son a hope and a future, stimulating a collective global effort to deliver tangible actions, not just empty promises.
Rachel Sharp, Wildlife Trusts Wales
Rachel is the Director of Wildlife Trusts Wales, an umbrella organisation for the five Wildlife Trusts in Wales. Over the last twenty years, she has increased awareness of the nature crisis, including advocating for new environmental legislation and resources for nature conservation work. She is now involved in innovative environment financing and gaining recognition of the importance of the marine environment. She has been a lead advocate for nature-based solutions to climate change and to invest in sustainable land management in Wales.
Rachel is a member of numerous forums covering wildlife conservation on both land and sea and is a trustee of Wales Environment Link. Invited to assist Welsh Government on the European Advisory Group and is a member of the Hinckley Point Reference Group. Voted as one of the 50 Shape Changers by the Future Generations Commissioner for her work on stopping damage to nature proposed by the M4 Relief Road. She remains passionate about achieving a nature positive Wales and sees a clear role for nature in tackling climate change.
Dr Rhian Mari Thomas, Green Finance Institute
Rhian-Mari is Chief Executive of the Green Finance Institute, an independent, commercially focused organisation seed funded by the UK Government.
Rhian-Mari spent 20 years in investment banking and corporate finance and was the first person to be awarded an OBE for services to green banking. She is an emeritus member of TCFD and co-chaired the launch of the TNFD, to which she remains an advisor.
Rhian-Mari sits on numerous advisory groups across UK Government, as well as the World Economic Forum’s Clean Energy Financing steering committee and co-chairs the leadership council for Snowball Impact Investments. She is also a Trustee of the World Wildlife Fund UK.
Dr Judith Thornton, Aberystwyth University
After her first degree and PhD in human physiology, Judith moved to West Wales and worked with the Centre for Alternative Technology for many years, including on water and sanitation, and as an MSc tutor on their course in Advanced Energy and Environmental Studies. She has also spent time at Cardiff University researching the history of infrastructure transitions, and at Leeds University as a Fellow of Water Resources.
Judith is now based at IBERS, Aberystwyth University and am interested in natural resources, bio-refining and the circular economy in general terms, and more specifically in plants as building materials. Her ambition for the group is that we create a sufficiently positive vision of what a zero carbon Wales looks like for us to be able to engage the breadth of societal groups who are typically resistant to change, and input particularly on how land use might look in a zero carbon Wales.
Prof. Lorraine Whitmarsh, University of Bath
Lorraine is an environmental psychologist, specialising in perceptions and behaviour in relation to climate change, energy and transport, based in the Department of Psychology, University of Bath.
She is Director of the ESRC-funded UK Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). She regularly advises governmental and other organisations on low-carbon behaviour change and climate change communication, was one of the expert leads for Climate Assembly UK, and Lead Author for IPCC’s Working Group II Sixth Assessment Report. Her research projects have included studies of meat consumption, energy efficiency behaviours, waste reduction and carrier bag reuse, perceptions of smart technologies and electric vehicles, low-carbon lifestyles, and responses to climate change.
Mr Simon Wright, University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Simon is a restaurateur, food writer and consultant with a special interest in local food and sustainability.
He and his wife Maryann founded Wright’s Food Emporium, Llanarthne a cafe and food store at the end of 2013 following on from the award winning Y Polyn. Simon is a former Editor of the AA Restaurant Guide, written two books, Tough Cookies (Profile 2005) and The Wright Taste (Gomer/BBC) in 2009. And worked as a television and radio broadcaster for the BBC and Channel 4. In 2010 Simon was awarded the Wales the True Taste Champion Award for his “dedication and devotion to Welsh food and drink”. In the last decade he has worked in various capacities with government and other institutions on matters related to food and farming strategy with a particular emphasis on the public plate, education and the food economy.
Simon recently took on the role of Director of Food and Rural Economy at UWTSD, His hope is that by including Food and Land Use amongst its key themes, the Net Zero 2035 Challenge group can act as catalyst in realising a resilient food system in Wales that truly serves the interest of its people.