Liz Barber, Chair

Liz became CEO of Kelda Group and Yorkshire Water in 2019, after 8 years as Director of Finance, Regulation and Markets.  Liz was previously a partner of Ernst & Young LLP.  Liz is Deputy Pro-Chancellor of the University of Leeds.  Other senior board roles have included non-executive director of KCOM and Board member of the Natural Capital Coalition.  Liz chaired the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability group of CFOs prior to stepping down with her change of role in September 2019.  She is due to join the Board of Cranswick PLC, a Yorkshire based food company as an independent non-executive director.

Councillor Richard Cooper, Vice-Chair (North Yorkshire)

Richard is the Leader of Harrogate Borough Council and has been a councillor for 21 years.  Richard also serves as a North Yorkshire County Council councillor. He is a vocal supporter of sustainable transport and carbon reduction measures.  Richard is Chair of the Harrogate Convention Centre board and currently works in the office of Andrew Jones, MP. Previously, Richard worked for a national healthcare charity based in Yorkshire and has a background in communications and public relations.  

Councillor Jack Hemingway, Vice-Chair (West Yorkshire)

Jack Hemingway is Deputy Leader of Wakefield Council where he also holds cabinet responsibility for Climate Change and Green Spaces. First elected to the Council in 2012 as its youngest ever member, he has a keen interest in environmental policy. Since taking up the Climate brief in 2019 Jack has overseen the development of the authority's Climate Change Action Plan to achieve net zero by 2030 and is helping to lead the wider Wakefield district's response to the climate emergency.  


Dan Jarvis MP, Vice-Chair (South Yorkshire)

Dan Jarvis has served as MP for Barnsley Central since 2011, and was elected as the first Mayor of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority in 2018. As Mayor, he declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, and in 2020 set out a target for reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040. He has made major investments in active travel and sustainable transport, and is developing plans for decarbonising bus services.

Councillor Chris Matthews, Vice-Chair (Humber)

Chris has been a councillor for East Riding of Yorkshire Council for 18 years and has served on the cabinet for 6 years. His portfolio includes Infrastructure and Climate Change. Chris has a background in municipal engineering and project management. As a councillor he has held many positions in the public sector and he is currently Chair of the North Eastern Fisheries and Conservation Authority. As portfolio holder he has overseen several capital schemes resulting in the reduction of carbon emissions.

Rosa Foster, Co-Director

Rosa joined the Environment Agency in 2003 and in 2019 was appointed its lead on the climate emergency response for Yorkshire. Her portfolio includes strategic business management for one of the largest operational areas of the Environment Agency and delivery of their eMission 2030 sustainability strategy. Rosa enjoys operating in the complex interface between strategy and delivery.

Professor Andy Gouldson, Co-Director

Andy Gouldson is Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Leeds. He has prepared climate action plans for cities and regions across the world, all focusing on practical forms of climate action that also deliver on wider development priorities. He has helped to establish climate commissions to aid the delivery of ambitious, inclusive climate actions in cities and communities across the UK. Andy is also Chair of the Leeds Climate Commission and co-lead of the ESRC Place-based Climate Action Network.

Wallace Sampson, Senior Officer for Local Authority Coordination

Wallace chairs the Harrogate District Public Services Leadership Board and is a member of the North Yorkshire Children’s Safeguarding Partnerhip Executive.  He is lead local authority Chief Executive in Yorkshire and Humber for energy and low carbon. Wallace is a Non-Executive Director for Harrogate District Foundation Trust Hospital and in 2020 was awarded an OBE for services to business and the community in Yorkshire.

Polly Cook, Senior Officer (West Yorkshire)

Polly is Chief Officer of Sustainable Energy and Air Quality at Leeds City Council, leading their response to the climate emergency, declared in 2019. She’s helped secure millions of pounds in funding to retrofit housing and public sector buildings, and oversees the district heating network, which already supplies nearly 2000 flats across Leeds. She is also part of Leeds Climate Commission.

Ian Floyd, Senior Officer (North Yorkshire)

Ian is the Chief Operating Officer for City of York Council, responsible for the overall management of the council’s services. An Accountant by profession, he has been with the Council since 2008. City of York Council declared a Climate Emergency in March 2019, together with a target of becoming carbon neutral as a city by 2030.

Mark Jones MBE, Senior Officer (East Yorkshire)

Mark has worked within and with the Ports sector in Hull and the Humber for a number of years and has led the Council’s partnership approach to Green Port alongside ABP, the University of Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire Council since 2009. Mark is lead officer for flood mitigation in Hull and the senior officer lead for Care Leavers. He has led major inward investment and regeneration projects, and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for this work.


Kate Josephs, Senior Officer (South Yorkshire)

Kate Josephs joined Sheffield City Council as Chief Executive in January 2021, having spent 20 years in national-government in the UK and United States.  She joins Sheffield from a 6 month tour of duty as Director General in the Cabinet Office’s COVID 19 Taskforce. Kate held senior positions in HM Treasury, the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, and the Department for Education.

Bill Adams, Commissioner

Bill Adams is the regional secretary of the TUC in Yorkshire & the Humber. Bill established the Yorkshire and Humber Just transition taskforce in 2017, bringing together trade unions, academics, and employers to work together towards achieving a sustainable green industrial base based on highly skilled, well paid jobs leading to a green economic future where no one is left behind.

Kate Adams, Commissioner

Kate Adams is an Environment and Land Use Advisor for the NFU’s North East region, stretching from the Borders to South Yorkshire. Kate provides guidance and advice to farming members on a range of environmental, land use, climate and planning issues. She also works closely with colleagues and farming members to help achieve the NFU’s Net Zero by 2040 goal.

Rachael Bice, Commissioner

Rachael brings 20 years of work experience across the public sector, in education, housing, waste management, environmental policy and service delivery to Yorkshire. Joining the Commission is an opportunity to give a voice to Yorkshire’s wildlife, to inform the substantial systemic changes needed to create a sustainable future which includes a just transition for our natural systems and all species.


Simon Bowens, Commissioner

Simon is Friends of the Earth’s Regional Campaign Organiser in Yorkshire and the North East. In this role, he supports and delivers the organisation’s campaigns to tackle climate change and protect nature and green spaces. This work is intensely focused on empowering local communities to come together to have a powerful voice on key environmental issues.

Emma Bridge, Commissioner

Emma is the Chief Executive of Community Energy England (CEE), the national representative body for the community energy sector based in Sheffield. CEE’s vision is a thriving community energy sector integrated into and truly powering a fair, zero-carbon energy system. Emma sits on a number of European, national and regional advisory groups on energy, sustainable development and climate change.

Martyn Broadest, Commissioner

I am an Environmental Health Officer by training, and have worked in various housing roles for 30 years. I am Executive Director at Yorkshire-based Connect Housing Association, with responsibility for framing our response to the Climate Emergency.  I collaborate with sustainability colleagues in housing organisations throughout the region in various networks, and lead on this work for the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership.

Chris Brown, Commissioner

Chris is Senior Director Sustainable Supply Chains at ASDA. Previously, he worked in Government before joining the Meat and Livestock Commission. He moved to retail as Agriculture Technologist at M&S before joining ASDA to develop its strategies and activities across all sectors of agriculture. He covers sustainable sourcing including raw material production standards, supplier development and climate impact on supply chains.  

Peter Cole, Commissioner

Peter, a Chartered Environmentalist with over 17 years’ experience, is Principal Environmental and Sustainability Officer at Transport for the North, where he has been leading the development of TfN’s Decarbonisation Strategy work. Peter joined TfN from Temple Group; he founded Temple’s Manchester office and grew a multi-disciplinary team working on projects such as NPR and HS2, as well as initiating work on TfN’s decarbonisation strategy evidence base. 

Sarah Clark, Commissioner

As Aura Operations Manager at the University of Hull, Sarah runs the Aura Innovation Centre, supporting the development of the low carbon SME supply chain, providing access to innovation support, enabling collaboration and knowledge exchange. Sarah is a project management professional and former business owner with over 25 years’ experience managing complex publicly funded programmes in support of businesses.

Sajalu Dahal, Commissioner

Sajalu is the Lead Analyst for the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan (HICP) project, a £1.7 million public and private partnership project which is looking to identifying an optimal route to delivering a Net Zero Humber Industrial Cluster (largest industrial cluster in the UK by emission) by 2040. She is a Chemical Engineer by profession and currently works in local government. She has a keen interest in industrial growth & prosperity, as well as clean energy and greenhouse gas removal technologies at a strategic level.

Patrick Erwin, Commissioner

Patrick joined Northern Powergrid in 2016 from INEOS, he has over 20 years of experience across energy infrastructure and environment in public and private sectors including being a senior civil servant at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Patrick is a Physicist and geologist, Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

Nigel Foster, Commissioner

Nigel is an experienced executive and non-executive director who provides advice on transport, regeneration and sustainability projects.  Nigel is a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Transport Studies, specialising in strategies to integrate transport, land use and sustainable economic development.  Nigel chairs the Leeds Transport Advisory Panel, and is lead ambassador for Leeds City Council’s Inclusive Growth Partnership.

Robert Hall, Commissioner

Robert is responsible for the interdisciplinary measurement and evaluation of ecological and social-economic systems across public and private markets at the International Business of Federated Hermes. Prior to joining Federated Hermes, Robert worked at the FCA, latterly as part of the intra-regulatory taskforce on TCFD implementation and systemic climate risk. Robert is a CFA author and the Chair of PCAF UK.

Oliver Harmar, Commissioner

Oliver is the Chief Operating Officer for Natural England, a national agency of Defra who’s mission is to restore thriving nature for everyone through working in partnership for nature recovery. Oliver was previously the Area Director for Yorkshire at the Environment Agency and has over 15 years experience around climate and environmental leadership. He is particularly interested in how we collaborate and drive positive action for climate and nature across organisations and with communities.

Beckie Hart, Commissioner

As the CBI's director for Yorkshire and the Humber, Beckie Hart is responsible for managing and developing relationships with a wide range of organisations and stakeholders in the region; recruiting new members to the CBI; and central and regional lobbying. In addition, Beckie and her team deliver a programme of policy and best practice events for CBI members and regional stakeholders.

Bruce Heppenstall, Commissioner

Bruce is Plant Director at Drax Power Station responsible for all site activities at the world’s largest biomass power station and Europe’s largest single site renewable generator.  Drax Power Station is located near Selby in North Yorkshire and is rated at 4GW consisting of 4 power units that have been converted to run on sustainable biomass and 2 coal units that close in September 2022.  Since joining the business in November 2019, Bruce has been focussed on ensuring improving safety and aligning the cost base of the plant to ensure long term sustainability beyond the closure of the coal units.

Philip Holdgate, Commissioner

Phil is Head of Production Sustainability for ITV Studios. Based in Leeds, his work includes leading the delivery of ITV's global sustainable productions strategy focused on reducing carbon emissions and waste to Net Zero by 2030, and creating a sustainable culture within production teams. Phil is also the co-founder and Chair of SAIL (Sustainable Arts In Leeds).

Amir Hussain, Commissioner

Amir Hussain is founder and CEO of Yeme Architects, Yeme Tech and Yeme Lab, developing them into a critical-thinking group of companies. These execute community-led, data-informed, built environment solutions designed to meet the challenges and opportunities of a complex new future. Furthermore, Amir’s Board Member positions with the Leeds City Region LEP, Bradford University and Bradford’s Covid Recovery Board, (together with a range of other Panel/Board positions) provides comprehensive insight into some of the most challenging contextual issues of our time.


Siobhan Laird, Commissioner

I have been involved with numerous organisations campaigning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect natural habitat and working for equality in a new green economy. I am currently a director of South Yorkshire Climate Alliance which facilitates a wide range of cross-sector organisations and community groups to collaborate on activity to tackle the climate emergency.

Amandeep Kaur Maan, Commissioner

As co-founder of EcoSikhUK I have seen the impacts of developing collaborative partnerships to bring environmental change especially at a community level.  We promote successes, provide support to replicate effective models and facilitate new project ideas. I studied International Business, Waste Management, Internal auditing and Environmental Management Systems.   My previous work has been in financial and housing sectors. Sharing Commissioner role with Dr Jatinder Singh Mehmi.

Dr Jatinder Singh Mehmi, Commissioner

As co-chair of Sikh Alliance Yorkshire (SAY), we engage with national and local agencies constructing community dialogues to shape policy and working practices. Worked extensively with communities on social, cultural, and environmental issues. I have carried out research and was member of Climate Change Partnerships for Y&H and NE. In a professional capacity, I’m a social scientist and life coach. Sharing Commissioner role with Amandeep Kaur Maan.

Natasha Nauth

Natasha is climate lead at NatWest responsible for providing banking solutions to corporates across Yorkshire. Natasha's career spans over 20 years in the banking sector, starting out as an accountant then treasurer, having previously worked in the investment bank on specialist solutions to global clients with transactions across a range of sectors, on products including carbon, equities, credit, rates, FX, hybrids and commodities. 

Peter O'Brien, Commissioner

Dr Peter O’Brien is the Executive Director of Yorkshire Universities. Peter has worked in local and regional development in the north of England for over 20 years, including holding senior positions with the North East LEP, Tyne and Wear City Region and North East Assembly. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies, Newcastle University.

Professor Dan Parsons, Commissioner

Professor Parsons is an active researcher in areas related to fluvial, estuarine, coastal and deep marine sedimentary environments, exploring responses of these systems to climate and environmental change. As the Director of the Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, he has gathered together a multidisciplinary team of over 130 researchers, has a portfolio of active research grants and projects of over £29M, and hosts flagship MSc programmes.

Sarah Pemberton, Commissioner

Sarah is Assistant Director for the National Trust in the North region. She has a focus on their land and nature programme, looking for opportunities to work in partnership and increase access to nature. She is passionate about renewable energy and climate change and leads a programme to deliver more sustainable forms of energy across their property portfolio.

Alexis Percival, Commissioner

Alexis Percival is the Environmental and Sustainability Manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust and works closely with the Humber Coast and Vale Integrated Care System. She works alongside of many healthcare, civic and third sector organisations across Yorkshire.  She is passionate about decarbonising the region, raising awareness of climate change and working to build resilience in across Yorkshire. 

Simon Pringle, Commissioner

Simon is a senior commercial strategy and sustainability expert with extensive board-level experience. An Associate Fellow of Chatham House, Simon is also Visiting Professor of Sustainability and Innovation at the University of Chester. Simon currently serves as a Leeds City Region LEP board member. Simon is Trustee of Solutions for the Planet, and co-founder of a Community Energy Charity.

Rob Purdy, Commissioner

Rob is Director of Balance Sheet Management at Yorkshire Building Society, and proud to represent them on the Commission. He manages the Society’s Financial Risks to Climate Change (PRA SS3/19). Over recent years the Society has been progressively reducing its environmental impact by investing in technology, improving waste management and engaging its colleagues in supporting its efforts in becoming more sustainable.

Emma Richards, Commissioner

Emma is Head of Project Development at The Carbon Literacy Project - a national charity with a globally unique approach to tackling the climate emergency. The Project, alongside partner organisations, facilitates education on, and action against, climate change at an individual, organisational and societal level. Emma looks to bring her experience with Carbon Literacy and climate engagement to the Commission. 

Gordon Rogers, Commissioner

Gordon has twenty years of experience in the water industry championing sustainability, resilience and responsible business, with a focus on climate change and natural capital. As Head of Sustainability at Yorkshire Water, Gordon embedded the Six Capitals approach and Integrated Reporting to shape decision-making, strategies and investment choices. Gordon is also Chair of the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation.

RYCA , Commissioners

The Regional Youth Climate Assembly (RYCA) is a group made of members across the Yorkshire & Humber region to provide a collective youth voice for young people within the climate discussion. RYCA encourages young people living in the Y&H region to represent their local authority and to join the pool of discussion when it comes to young people’s futures. RYCA will usually be represented by Will Soloman and Curtis Yip.

Stuart Strathdee, Commissioner

My involvement in Climate Education comes from teaching A-level Chemistry at Greenhead College and campaigning with Our Future Leeds (OFL). With OFL Schools I helped to develop a framework for schools’ response to the Climate Emergency, which encourages practical action by parents, governors, and staff.  My sons, who are active in the YouthStrike4Climate and other environmental groups, regularly update me on young people’s views.

Melanie Taylor, Commissioner

Melanie is Head of Stakeholder Relations at Northern Gas Networks, which distributes gas to over 2.5 million homes and businesses across the North of England. Melanie is responsible for ensuring NGN’s decisions reflect the ambitions of local communities, particularly in delivering a just transition to net zero. Prior to NGN, Melanie held various roles supporting local government respond to climate change.


Avatar image by WingTillDie from Pixabay 

Rachael Bice image credit: Yorkshire Post