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Professor Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (invited)

  • Launching the Green Action programme to encourage local authority involvement in progressing community engagement in environmental initiatives
  • Announcing, for the first time, DEFRA’s new toolkit for local authorities to effectively implement successful local environment and sustainability plans
  • Setting out the role of local authorities in A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment Policy Paper, which was updated in May 2019
  • Updating the progress of the Environment Bill, including a new statutory requirement for ‘Local Nature Recovery Strategies’ and actions to mandate net gain for biodiversity on new developments in England
  • Providing a clear pathway for the sustainable usage of land, green economic growth, increasing resource efficiency, effective waste management and improving the quality of life through healthy local environments

Helen Ward, Head of Strategic Engagement - 25 Year Environment Plan, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (CONFIRMED)

During this session Natural England will be announcing, for the first time, the new National Green Infrastructure Standard. This framework will enable local authorities and wider communities to deliver quality green infrastructure projects tailored to local needs, producing liveable, biodiverse environments which ensure healthy, sustainable lives for all local residents.


Clare Warburton, Principal Adviser – Green Infrastructure, Natural England (CONFIRMED)

  • Underlining the role that local government has in delivering and supporting an evolution to a low carbon society through the updated April 2018 Clean Growth Strategy
  • Outlining local authority commitments, as part of the Clean Growth Strategy, towards achieving widescale increases in carbon efficiency through energy efficiency measures
  • Funding the Salix scheme, which has commissioned £255 million towards enabling local authorities and other bodies to drastically improved carbon efficiency
  • Providing an update on the BEIS Local Energy Programme, which is funding Local Energy Hubs, teams across local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) developing energy efficiency projects tailored to their local needs

Katherine Wright, Director – Public Sector and Local, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (CONFIRMED)

  • Leading the parliamentary push for costed, well-funded and effective environmental policy which supports local areas as much as possible
  • Scrutinising the Draft Environmental Bill, calling for more targets, metrics and milestones to support organisations in their progress on sustainability plans
  • Providing an update on the Climate Change and Biodiversity Inquiry, looking into the value in recent funding, climate change policy, net zero targets, Natural England’s Action Plan, land management and carbon storage
  • Conducting an inquiry into Electronic Waste and the Circular Economy, advising the government on the next steps towards reducing e-waste and transitioning towards a circular economy for electronic goods

Philip Dunne MP, Member, Environmental Audit Committee (CONFIRMED)

  • Exploring the key challenges faced by local authorities and organisations to building local environment and sustainability action plans
  • Examining the next steps after declaring a climate emergency in your area and building effectively on this declaration
  • Finding a balance which effectively combines climate reduction and economic prosperity in your local region
  • Building strategies which combine all areas of sustainability and best removing the barriers towards a co-ordinated action plan

Kirsty Macpherson, Green Infrastructure Lead Advisor, Environment Agency (CONFIRMED)
Roz Bulleid, Head of Policy, Green Alliance (CONFIRMED)
Simon Brammer, Head of Cities, Ashden (CONFIRMED)
Senior Representative, Friends of the Earth (CONFIRMED)
Simeran Bachra, UK Cities Manager, CDP (CONFIRMED)

During this session, Sustainability West Midlands (SWM) will be providing close, interactive advice on best delivering local sustainability action plans and proven practices in achieving carbon reduction alongside co-benefits, such as improved wellbeing and economic prosperity. This session will also outline in detail how local authorities can build on their climate emergency declarations to act in the most effective possible manner.

SWM have been supporting local authorities over many years on what makes a good local authority sustainability action plan and will be sharing this renowned advice in extensive detail. Having established the West Midlands Public Sector Sustainability and Energy Network, SWM have successfully led 32 local authorities to transformed local sustainability action plans with extensive carbon reduction, low carbon projects, renewable energy and more.

Alan Carr, Senior Sustainability Adviser, Sustainability West Midlands (CONFIRMED)

  • Developing a toolkit directly tailored, alongside the City Region Sustainability Network, to support local authorities to respond to climate change effectively through strategic action
  • Showing how action plans can be delivered together with many other benefits, such as health improvement, economic growth, equity and local resilience
  • Leading city development projects which solve housing, transport, health and productivity issues through climate and environmental solutions
  • Developing guidance alongside local authorities and The Grantham Institute to promote data sources and evidence-backed approaches to delivering council-led environment projects
  • Proposing additional community engagement to focus on climate action co-benefits by involving local people through citizen panels and connecting climate policy to the needs of local populations

Simon Brammer, Head of Cities, Ashden (CONFIRMED)

  • Bringing together 40 organisations in the Low Carbon Oxford project, led and funded by Oxford City Council to deliver tangible environmental benefits and low carbon growth
  • Building a £41 million Energy Superhub to kick-start an electric vehicle revolution, delivering 20, 000 tonnes of CO2 savings per year, rising to 44, 000 tonnes per year by 2032
  • Receiving £370, 000 of Government funding for low emissions vehicles for an EV charging scheme, delivering 5 different types of charges with a further 100 chargers to be installed
  • Delivering a Zero Emission Zone across Oxford, with the aim of achieving a transport emission free region by 2035
  • Launching OxFutures with £3.2 million of external funding to grow the low carbon economy in Oxford by working with local partners, such as EcoSync which are using innovative technology to reduce carbon footprint in buildings by 40%
  • Exceeding the carbon reduction targets of 3% each year, whilst reducing building emissions by 10% year on year

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council (CONFIRMED)

  • Placing energy efficiency at the heart of the Sustainable Enfield 2020 Plan, including the prioritisation of renewable heating to reduce carbon footprint and improve wellbeing of local residents
  • Setting up a local energy company, Energetik, to transform the local energy market to ensure sustainable energy practices which put the environment first
  • Installing over 400 ground source heat pumps and investing £2.7 million in energy efficiency initiatives across schools and corporate buildings, with savings of over £400,000
  • Accessing RE:FIT to retrofit the entire council’s property portfolio, including putting £1million into the 18 buildings in the region with the highest energy consumption
  • Reducing carbon footprint through the Sustainable Enfield programme by 45% and setting a new carbon reduction target by 2025

Council of the Year in the Greater London Energy Efficiency Awards 2019

Ieman Biermaki, Head of Asset Management and Sustainability, Enfield Council (CONFIRMED)

  • Partnering between Oldham Council, NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group and Oldham Housing Investment Partnership (OHIP) to offer successful home, environmental and energy advice and support to local residents
  • Providing a holistic service to ensure all residents are maintaining their health and well-being through free home assessments, energy efficiency and income maximisation
  • Creating a team that is reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions whilst drastically raising health and quality of life, with a large reduction in hospital admissions, GP visits and winter deaths
  • Improving the health of over 7,000 people so far, whilst bringing in £4.3 million of energy efficiency external grant funding and £513,000 in total savings to household bills each year
  • Achieving monetary benefits from increased QALYs of up to £793,000 through a £250,000 yearly investment, with £215,700 of extra GDP due to increased employment and a reduction in sickness absence and a £137,300 reduction in benefit claims

Anees Mank, Principal Housing Energy Officer, Oldham Council (CONFIRMED)

  • Setting out an ambitious Low Carbon Economy 2018-2020 Plan for the region to drive forward environmentally responsible economic growth and job creation
  • Launching a £10 million Green Investment Fund, which has backed renewable energy projects and supported a 150% increase in low carbon energy production services since 2010
  • Increasing the number of young people entering low carbon industries through apprenticeship pathways and the STEM Ambassador Scheme, providing schools and colleges with low carbon technology career pathways
  • Supporting commercial opportunities in low carbon and renewable sectors, such as the £3.5 billion investment in Liverpool Bay to develop the world’s largest offshore wind farm
  • Achieving an increase in employment in the low carbon sector of almost 10% since 2010 and of over 30% in low carbon enterprises, with the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the sector set to rise by 34% by 2030

Councillor Ian Maher, Leader, Sefton Council (invited)

  • Building 220 local groups which are engaging with local government and wider communities to build a better environment in regions across the UK
  • Working with the Local Government Association (LGA) to create tailored solutions that work for individual councils and take into account regional differences in the possibility of diverse project implementation
  • Campaigning for local authorities and combined local authorities to have a statutory duty to decarbonise and reduce emissions, in addition to being allocated local carbon budgets
  • Ensuring and helping local authorities to develop carbon plans and auditing their plans to ensure they fit in line with carbon output regulations, empowering councils to take great action

Senior Representative, Friends of the Earth (CONFIRMED)

*Programme subject to change