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

UK climate change adaptation - priorities, the strategic pathway to net zero emissions, and ambitions for COP26

Morning, Tuesday, 8th December 2020

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

This conference will discuss priorities for climate change adaptation in the UK.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the strategic route map towards net zero emissions
  • creating a green, sustainable and fair COVID-19 recovery plan
  • priorities for the rescheduled COP26

Key participants:

Although not yet included in the published agenda, we are delighted that the Minister for Climate Change, Lord Callanan has agreed to make a keynote contribution at this conference. Tony Grayling, Director, Sustainable Business and Development, Environment Agency and Tom Handysides, Head of Climate Change Adaptation, Defra; are also keynote speakers.

This conference has prompted a significant interest from key policy officials, and will be bringing stakeholders together with representatives due to attend from the House of Commons; BEIS; the Cabinet Office; the CCC; Defra; the Department for the Economy NI; DfT; Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, NI; the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, ROI; DHSC; DIT; the Environment Agency; the Government Legal Department; the HSE; the Maritime & Coastguard Agency; MHCLG; the NAO; the ONS; the ORR; Ofwat; The Scottish Government; Marine Scotland; Transport Scotland; the Welsh Government; and Natural Resources Wales.

The agenda:

  • Adapting to climate change - a progress update, a look ahead to 2021, and our longer-term vision for resilience to climate impacts
  • Latest thinking on the steps needed for a green and sustainable UK recovery plan
    • Preparing a sustainable pathway - economic priorities, greening supply chains, and developing policy
    • Assessing the scope of a recovery package - support for green modernisation and behaviour change, accelerating the low-carbon transition, and securing investment
    • Next steps for developing ecosystem protection and preventing lock-in emissions - tree planting, peatland restoration, and expanding national carbon sequestering
  • Reaching net-zero by 2050 - developing natural resilience, and cross-sector engagement with long-term decarbonisation
  • Next steps for adapting to the impact of climate change - developing resilience in the natural and built environment, tailoring strategies for local needs, and meeting future demand
    • Meeting the challenge of flood and coastal erosion management - an engineering perspective
    • Designing environment strategies and tailoring plans for local climate risks
  • Opportunities for COP26 and meeting the challenge of climate change on a global level
  • Policy priorities for a national green COVID-19 recovery package, preparing for COP26, and building adaptation capacity

The discussion in detail:

  • preparedness - development of climate adaptation strategies that are coordinated across policy initiatives and government departments
  • engagement with key stakeholders
    • preparing the built environment sector for net-zero strategy development, improved domestic energy efficiency and reduced industrial emissions
    • supporting UK businesses to adapt to climate change and towards net zero - looking at encouraging building back sustainably, greening supply chains and avoiding new lock-in emissions
  • climate vulnerabilities - what more needs to be done to adapt new infrastructure to be resilient to future climate change
  • joined-up policy - linking future plans with existing national strategies in areas such as flooding
  • investment priorities for recovery and climate adaptation - low-carbon energy technology deployment, national infrastructure, decarbonising transport, and encouraging behaviour change
  • protecting and building up the natural environment - tree planting and wider ecosystem and biodiversity protection and ensuring new infrastructure protects biodiversity and natural capital
  • the Environment and Agriculture Bills - and the impact of measures including environmental land management systems and the potential role of the Office for Environmental Protection
  • the 26th UN Climate Change Conference and UK leadership in global climate action - looking at:
    • maximising COP26 as an opportunity - intensifying action on climate change mitigation and global adaptation preparedness
    • accelerating cooperation - between governments, nations and organisations
    • the UK’s role - in communicating ambitious climate leadership
    • involving UK businesses and industry - in key global climate and adaptation initiatives and partnerships

Climate change and environment policy developments:

  • major initiatives - including the updated Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill and establishment of the Office for Environmental Protection - and the National Infrastructure Strategy due this year
  • New plans to make UK world leader in green energy - government’s a focus on providing green energy to all homes, boosting green jobs and supporting the decarbonisation of industry, with a £2m fund for innovation in wind farm technology
  • net-zero emissions by 2050 - the UK legally-binding target, with developments including the launch of the Net Zero Transport Board, and plans to reduce industrial and domestic emissions
  • Multi-billion pound investment as government unveils new long-term plan to tackle flooding - the Government’s long-term plan to tackle the risks, and the Environment Agency’s National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England
  • emission levels - the recommendations for years 2033 to 2037 expected in December as part of the Sixth Carbon Budget
  • COP26 Energy Transition Council launched - initiatives by the UK Government and aimed at accelerating the transition from coal to clean power by bringing together global leaders in energy
  • threats and adaptation priorities - the creation of the third Climate Change Risk Assessment, due for publication in 2022 - with updated evidence expected next year
  • economic recovery following the pandemic - the Prime Minister’s New Deal for Britain highlighting clean energy, transport and natural infrastructure restoration for adaptation
  • UK plans to bring forward ban on fossil fuel vehicles to 2030 - the Guardian’s reporting on the expected government announcement
  • Government launches review into future offshore oil and gas licensing regime - to assess the UK’s policy on future offshore oil and gas licensing regimes in line with net-zero targets
  • Prepare for lift-off: Jet Zero Council to deliver carbon-free flight - aiming to support a transition to a zero-emission aviation sector by 2050
  • the Green Homes Grant - for improving domestic energy efficiency across England
  • COVID-19 can be an historic turning point in tackling the global climate crisis - CCC recommendations on investments in low-carbon energy and energy efficiency, developing the circular economy, reskilling for low-carbon employment, setting net-zero as a core cross-departmental, goal encouraging societal behavioural change, scaling up climate research, and ensuring extreme weather events are factored in to forthcoming infrastructure strategies

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentarians from the House of Commons and officials from the BEIS; Cabinet Office; the Committee on Climate Change; Defra; Department for the Economy NI; Department for Transport; Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, NI; the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, ROI; the Department of Health and Social Care; the Department for International Trade; the Environment Agency; the Government Legal Department; the Health and Safety Executive; the Maritime & Coastguard Agency; the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; the Crown Commercial Service; the National Audit Office; the Office for National Statistics; the Office of Rail and Road; Ofwat; The Scottish Government; Marine Scotland; Transport Scotland; the Welsh Government; and Natural Resources Wales

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 trade media.

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

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording 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

Tony Grayling

Director, Sustainable Business and Development, Environment Agency

Keynote Speakers

Tom Handysides

Head of Climate Change Adaptation, Defra

Tony Grayling

Director, Sustainable Business and Development, Environment Agency


Clive Lewis MP

Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle

former Leader, Green Party of England and Wales


Michaela Seimen Howat

Executive Director, Sustainability, UBS

Mallika Ishwaran

Senior Economist and Policy Adviser, Shell

Dr Mike Morecroft

Principal Specialist, Climate Change, Natural England

Phil Jarvis

Farm Manager, Allerton Project, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, and Chair, Environment Forum, National Farmers Union

Dr Tim Fox

Chair, Process Industries Division, IMechE

Dr Emily Shuckburgh

Director, Cambridge Zero, University of Cambridge

John Dora

Chair, National Infrastructure Operators Adaptation Forum, and Fellow, Institution of Civil Engineers

Isabella O’Dowd

Senior Climate Change Specialist, WWF UK

Claire Haigh

Chief Executive, Greener Journeys

Simon Tilling

Partner, Environment & Energy, Burges Salmon

Conor McCone

UK Carbon Manager, Skanska

Nigel Riglar

Director for Environment and Community Services, South Gloucestershire Council