Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Next steps for UK climate change policy and the road to COP26 - building adaptation capacity, strategies for net-zero, and opportunities for leadership on climate action

Morning, Thursday, 5th August 2021


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine latest developments, priorities and practicalities for meeting ambitious UK policy targets for net-zero.


Areas for discussion include next steps for improving climate change preparedness across key sectors, developing cohesive UK-wide adaptation strategies, and driving forward green economic recovery.


We are pleased to be able to include a keynote session with Chris Stark, Chief Executive, Committee on Climate Change.


Taking  place in the run-up to COP26 - the first UN climate summit since the beginning of the pandemic - the conference will also be an opportunity to discuss internationally-focussed UK priorities for advocacy on tackling the climate emergency and meeting net-zero targets, as well as how best to use the opportunity of hosting the global gathering to cement the position of the UK, its businesses and research institutions at the leading edge of climate action.


Sessions in the agenda include:

  • UK climate change preparedness - priorities for policymaker and stakeholder action, and key steps for enabling the economy to meet net-zero commitments
  • Building climate adaptation capacity - long-term strategic measures for boosting natural resilience, mitigating environmental degradation, and designing approaches at a local level
  • Developing net-zero pathways - meeting decarbonisation commitments in key sectors, and next steps for leveraging engagement across the economy
    • Finance and  investment - what is needed to tackle challenges for achieving net-zero - making action affordable, the public/private funding mix, and supporting investor confidence
    • Low-carbon energy - scaling up and expansion, delivering deep decarbonisation for energy-intensive sectors, and making the UK a leader in renewable technologies
    • Transport and infrastructure - addressing barriers to readiness for net-zero, networks for clean mobility, delivering upgrades nation-wide, and managing modernisation costs
    • Net-zero strategies on a local and regional level - priorities for designing tailored action plans, addressing local needs and risks, and leveraging local stakeholder input
  • The COP26 Summit, and opportunities for global climate action and UK leadership - policy setting and coordination, economy-wide cooperation, and demonstrating best practice for a clean economic recovery

Key areas for discussion:

Long-term climate change policy in the UK:

  • the Government’s long-term plans - looking at priorities for delivering the Government’s ambitions on climate policy, including:
    • evaluating policy guidance, and best practice for ensuring it is utilised effectively
    • considering options for using new environmental powers and regulations
    • building strong and accountable governance mechanisms
    • ensuring policy targets are ambitious enough for building national adaptation capacity
  • resilience building - identifying needs across key sectors and resources, including:
    • challenges for the water sector and preparation levels for dealing with flooding
    • the scope of nature-based and artificial adaptation infrastructure
    • best practice for reducing environmental degradation for agriculture and land-based resources
  • local approaches to climate adaptation - assessing options for overcoming challenges through:
    • enhancing cooperation among local authorities and stakeholders
    • designing holistic climate strategies
    • ensuring access to funding is appropriate

Delivering large-scale decarbonisation across the economy:

  • low-carbon pathways - evaluating the Sixth Carbon Budget, and options for designing low-carbon pathways across the economy:
    • new targets for 2035 - examining whether these are fit for purpose, and how barriers to achieving these could be overcome
    • support - what might be necessary, and what it might look like, looking at:
      • options for stronger policy support
      • financial help
      • collaboration and sharing best practice
  • scaling up low-carbon energy supply - priorities for achieving this sustainably and accessibly, with discussion on:
    • commercialising new technologies
    • reducing costs for large-scale rollout
    • increasing adoptability within industry
    • making the UK a leader in clean energy
  • net-zero transport and infrastructure - what is needed for decarbonisation in these areas, including:
    • overcoming challenges to modernisation for delivering net-zero ambitions and reducing costs
    • considering the changing needs of mobility
    • underpinning clean transport during the transition
    • options for collaboration on nation-wide upgrades
  • priorities for built environments:
    • developing bespoke plans for climate and net-zero readiness
    • looking at net-zero strategy design on local and regional levels
    • identifying and planning around local needs
    • risks and infrastructure deficiencies
    • leveraging local stakeholder engagement

Priorities for the forthcoming COP26 summit:

  • coordinating effective policy and commitments - identifying priorities for the UK in advance of the summit, including:
    • unifying devolved and regional policy strategies
    • leveraging whole-nation involvement
    • demonstrating best practice for setting achievable decarbonisation targets
  • stakeholder collaboration for meaningful action - ensuring equitable and cooperative efforts to meet climate ambitions, looking at:
    • a cross-sector approach - galvanising the cooperation of industry, policymakers and the third sector
    • reducing barriers to engagement - identifying technical solutions, policy, and regulatory rules to overcome such obstacles
    • protecting vulnerable groups - the role of collaboration in ensuring the most vulnerable in society aren’t the hardest hit by reforms and avoid economic damage
  • clean economic recovery - identifying what international partners can learn from UK leadership, such as:
    • how to leverage activity and demand across local and regional economies
    • scaling growth in clean jobs and skills
    • mobilising industry involvement for clean technology development

Relevant background:

  • COP26 - to be hosted in Glasgow in November, it will be the first UN climate summit held since the start of the pandemic, the event is intended to galvanise global action on environmental policy, and develop a strategy for global policymaking and industry engagement
  • new decarbonisation target - the Government’s announcement of a new emissions reduction target of 78% by 2035, compared with 1990 levels, intended for being enshrined into law by June 2021
  • Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) 2022 - the third CCRA, required by law, is due in 2022 and will examine the latest assessments of long-term climate risk in the UK, with priorities for addressing these challenges and adapting to their prevalence across key natural environments
  • the Sixth Carbon Budget - the first Carbon Budget to be published since the target for net-zero emissions by 2050 became law, it outlines:
    • recommendations for the level of UK emissions for 2033-37
    • the needs of policymaker and industry action in order to meet these goals
    • further steps required for reaching net-zero by 2050
  • the Environment Bill - aimed at transposing European environmental regulation into UK law, and:
    • establishing a long-term framework for the scope and use of new environmental powers
    • underpining good governance, accountability and the setting of new targets for environmental improvement and climate adaptation 
  • the Agriculture Act:
    • providing a legal framework for land management and agriculture support systems following the UK’s exit from the EU
    • aiming to enhance environmental preservation of land use through additional funds for public goods, such as better treatment of environmental and natural resources, and animal welfare
  • National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England - providing an outline for utilising the £5.2bn of capital funding allocated for flood risk projects in England, including its long-term intentions for:
    • developing natural and artificial adaptation flood defences, infrastructure and resilience
    • leveraging cooperation across industry and local groups
  • the Energy White Paper - setting out for the UK Government’s priorities on energy sector and technology development up to 2050, with a holistic approach to:
    • long-term decarbonisation and technology development
    • ensuring energy capacity is reliable, affordable, and can meet the ambition of net-zero emissions by 2050
  • Net-Zero Review Interim Report - outlining measures for the transition to a green economy that secures economic growth with benefit across the UK while protecting low income households, with the final report expected to be published later this year
  • the National Infrastructure Strategy - identifying long-term priorities for infrastructure development across the UK up to 2050, and how this can help unlock nation-wide economic growth and recovery, faster project approval and completion, and align infrastructure with goals around net-zero emissions and adapting to the threats of climate change
  • Local government and the path to net-zero: new inquiry - the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry, aiming to examine whether current guidelines and regulatory changes for large-scale decarbonisation across buildings, heating, energy and transport are effective enough for local authorities and communities, and if further guidance is needed to reduce barriers for engagement

The agenda:

  • UK climate change preparedness - priorities for policymaker and stakeholder action, and key steps for enabling the economy to meet net-zero commitments
  • Long-term strategy for building climate adaptation capacity - measures for boosting natural resilience, mitigating environmental degradation, and designing approaches at a local level
  • Developing pathways to meet decarbonisation commitments in key sectors, and next steps for leveraging engagement across the economy
    • What is needed from finance and  investment to tackle challenges for achieving net-zero - making action affordable, the public/private funding mix, and supporting investor confidence
    • Scaling up and expanding low-carbon energy, delivering deep decarbonisation for energy-intensive sectors, and making the UK a leader in renewable technologies
    • Addressing barriers to transport and infrastructure readiness for net-zero - preparing networks for clean mobility, delivering upgrades nation-wide, and managing modernisation costs
    • Priorities for net-zero strategies on a local and regional level - designing tailored action plans, addressing local needs and risks, and leveraging local stakeholder input
  • The COP26 Summit, and opportunities for global climate action and UK leadership - key steps for policy setting and coordination, fostering economy-wide cooperation, and demonstrating best practice for a clean economic recovery
  • Assessing long-term policy needs for climate adaptation readiness, and latest thinking on mechanisms for reaching net-zero by 2050

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.


Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy,  as well as from environmental and emissions organisations, representatives from energy-intensive sectors including power generation and transport, infrastructure, engineering and building groups, finance and investment companies, technology and innovation organisations, legal representatives, agricultural and land-use companies, local government and international delegates, charities and campaign groups, academics and think tanks, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



Keynote Speaker

Chris Stark

Chief Executive, Climate Change Committee

Speakers

Daniel Johns

Head of Public Affairs, Anglian Water

Polly Billington

Councillor, Hackney Council

David Acres

Policy and Environment Manager, EDF Energy

Dr Tim Fox

Chair, Process Industries Division, IMechE

Julie Foley

Director, FCRM Strategy & National Adaptation, Environmental Agency

Shaun Spiers

Executive Director, Green Alliance

Neil Brown

Chief Risk Officer, Earth Capital