Liz Barber, Chair

Liz became CEO of Kelda Group and Yorkshire Water in 2019, after 8 years as CFO and has recently retired from full time executive life. Liz was previously a partner of Ernst & Young LLP.  Liz is Deputy Pro-Chancellor of the University of Leeds which has a new strategy which strongly aligns to the UN Strategic Development Goals. Other senior board roles have included non-executive director of KCOM PLC and Board member of the Natural Capital Coalition.  Liz also chaired the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability group of CFOs prior to stepping down in September 2019.  She joined the Board of Cranswick PLC as an independent non-executive director in 2021 and is due to join the Board of HICL PLC, an investor in infrastructure, in 2022. Both companies have a leading approach to sustainability and climate change.

Mayor Oliver Coppard, Vice-Chair (South Yorkshire)

Oliver Coppard is South Yorkshire’s Mayor. Born and raised in the region, he took office as Mayor in May 2022, elected on a platform of restoring the pride, purpose and prosperity of South Yorkshire. After graduating from Leeds University, Oliver began his career at Barnsley Council working on low carbon regeneration projects. Since then, he’s worked in Parliament, in the US Congress and with the charity BookTrust.  He was Chair of the Board at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union and has worked on a number of high-profile political campaigns, both within the region and abroad. During his first year as Mayor, Oliver has started work delivering his manifesto pledges, building on his promise to do politics differently, and to fight for a better deal for South Yorkshire.

Councillor Claire Douglas, Vice Chair (North Yorkshire)

Claire was elected a Labour Councillor representing Heworth Ward on City of York Council in 2019, the area she has lived in for many years. 

She became Deputy Leader of the council’s Main Opposition Labour Group in May 2021, Group Leader in May 2022, and the first female Leader of City of York Council in May 2023.

Claire is passionate about acting on the climate, one of her administration’s four key themes, including developing a Local Transport Plan that contributes to the city’s ambitious 2030 carbon reduction target.

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.  

 

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.

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.

Kate Josephs, Senior Officer for Local Authority Coordination and for 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.

Adam Ashman, Commissioner

Adam has 20 years’ experience managing and transforming the performance of teams, equipment and assets, as well as business processes.

A Chartered Engineer, he is Head of Strategic Planning at Yorkshire Water, focussing on the climate, the transition to Net Zero, and the adaptation to a changing climate through the creation and implementation of the Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans.

Adam is a huge advocate of solving problems through innovation and the multiple benefits that come from working and learning together within partnerships.

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. (Image credit: Yorkshire Post)

 

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.

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.

Dr Robyn Cooper Inglis, Commissioner

Robyn is the Research and Innovation Development Manager for Environment at the University of York, based in the York Environmental Sustainability Institute. As Chair of the Research and Evidence Panel, she has a keen interest in mobilising the region’s world-class research expertise to meet the challenges of climate change.

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.

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.

Gill Mulroe, Commissioner

Gill is a Sustainability Advisor, Fellow Chartered Resource and Waste Manager, Chartered Environmentalist, Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Gill is passionate about linking Sustainability with Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion to ensure no one is left behind as we tackle climate change and the impact to vulnerable communities 

Natasha Nauth, Commissioner

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. 

Dr 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.

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. 

Sam Perry, Commissioner

Sam Perry is the Green Bargaining Officer for Yorkshire and the Humber TUC, which represents 620,000 workers across the region. He is focussed on raising the profile of environmental action within the labour movement and building the capacity in trade unions to bargain for justice as organisations adapt to the need to decarbonise. His special interest is in making the case for a massive growth of energy efficiency retrofits to homes across Yorkshire and the Humber, where he brings together a background in social housing and political and union activism.

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.

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 Long Term Strategy at United Utilities, Gordon and his team drive the company’s approach to emerging issues such as carbon reduction and climate resilience, shaping and integrating with the overall long term strategy for the organisation. Previously, Gordon was the Head of Sustainability at Yorkshire Water, where he 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.

Helen Slinger, Commissioner

Helen co-chairs the Commission’s Future Economy panel. She is Executive Director at Accounting for Sustainability (A4S), where her responsibilities include oversight of Knowledge and Learning activities. She was previously Head of Sustainable Business at Yorkshire Water. Helen is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), a Practitioner Member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and an Accredited Social Return on Investment Practitioner.

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.

Alice Sweeting, Commissioner

Alice is the Senior Manager – Environmental Sustainability at Yorkshire Building Society (YBS). Her newly created team will be supporting the business, their customers and members on their climate journeys.  Alice’s career started in logistics and energy before moving into banking in 2012, where she predominately worked in balance sheet risk before moving into Environmental Sustainability in 2023.  

Neil Whalley, Commissioner

Neil is a Chartered Geologist with 20 years experience in environmental risk assessment and remediation, sustainability strategy, and corporate sustainability reporting. Neil is Head of Environment and Sustainability at Northern Gas Networks (NGN). Since joining in 2014 Neil has led the delivery of NGN’s award winning land remediation programme and is now responsible for the delivery of NGN’s People and Planet Strategy. Neil was a founder member of the Leeds Climate Commission.

Anna Wright, Commissioner

Anna is an Environment and Land Use Adviser for the NFU’s North East region, which covers Northumberland down to South Yorkshire. Anna provides guidance and advice to farming members on a range of environmental, land use, climate change and planning issues. She works closely with colleagues and farming members to help achieve the NFU’s Net Zero by 2040 goal.