The road to COP26

Starts 28 June 2021, 8:30am


Join Spectator journalists, politicians and industry experts, as our summit sets the agenda ahead of COP26. Registration is free.

More details


Bim Afolami MP

Bim Afolami was elected as the Member of Parliament for Hitchin & Harpenden in 2017. He spent ten years in the City first as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, then as a Senior Executive at HSBC. Through this he helped to advise some of the biggest companies in the world, both British and international. His experience is put to good use in Parliament where he is Chair of several cross-Party groups including the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Renewable and Sustainable Energy, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Credit Unions, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Financial Markets & Services. He is also co-Chair and Net Zero Champion for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking. He is currently the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. He is a programme committee member for the Ditchley Foundation.

Chris Stark

Chris Stark is the Chief Executive of the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC), the independent authority on tackling climate change under the UK’s Climate Change Act. Chris leads a team of analysts and specialists, offering expert insight into the challenges of reducing UK emissions and adapting to the changing climate. Chris led the CCC’s work to recommend a ‘Net Zero’ target for the UK – and has since directed detailed analysis and advice on the UK’s path to carbon neutrality. He speaks regularly on the transition to a zero carbon economy and the need to confront climate change with urgency. Chris has wide experience in government. He has designed economic policy in Whitehall, including in HM Treasury and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was previously Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of the Scottish energy and climate strategies. Twitter: @ChiefExecCCC

Matthew Fell

Matthew is CBI Chief UK Policy Director and is responsible for developing and shaping the CBI’s domestic policy agenda, including on People and Skills, Infrastructure and Innovation. He also leads the CBI’s work on industrial and regional policy. Matthew is the CBI’s key spokesperson and has responsibility for political relationships and influencing across these areas of UK policy. Matthew joined the CBI in 1999 and has covered a range of business sectors including manufacturing, small business and financial services. As director for competitive markets Matthew led the CBI’s work on competition, regulation and corporate governance as well as campaigns to champion the UK's mid-market and the "Great Business Debate" to build public confidence in business. Immediately prior to taking up his current role, Matthew was Chief of Staff with responsibility for the CBI’s strategy, people and governance. Matthew has considerable experience of engaging with government, regulators and senior business leaders. He is a member of the CBI’s senior leadership team and sits on its Executive Committee.

Tom Delay

Tom Delay was appointed as the first chief executive of the Carbon Trust in 2001. Since then, he has grown the company to become a world leader, advising businesses and governments on carbon emissions reduction and the development of low carbon technologies, markets and businesses.

Clare Harbord

Clare is Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Drax and leads the Group’s internal and external communications, brand, public affairs and corporate social responsibility strategies. She also has responsibility for sustainability, regulation, policy and compliance. Clare has extensive experience in public affairs, communications and stakeholder relations. Before joining Drax, Clare worked at Heathrow, the world’s third busiest airport, where she was Director of Corporate Affairs for six years. Clare’s previous experience also includes roles as Director of Communications at both the Ministry of Justice and E.ON.

Scott Leeder

Scott has 15 years’ experience in the construction product sector. He joined VELUX in 2015 as director of VELUX Modular Skylights, and was recently appointed Market Director where he heads the business’s core activity in GB & Ireland.

Eamonn Ives

Eamonn Ives is the Head of Energy and Environment at the Centre for Policy Studies. His research focuses on how market-based solutions can mitigate environmental challenges, such as climate change, air pollution, and conservation. He is also a Research Adviser at The Entrepreneurs Network, and previously sat on the advisory board of Climate Assembly UK. Eamonn frequently features in the national print and broadcast media, and tweets @eamonnives.

Kate Andrews

Kate Andrews is The Spectator’s economics editor. She previously worked as Associate Director at the UK’s leading free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs. She features regularly on flagship political programmes, including BBC’s Question Time, and has a regular slot reviewing the papers on BBC News and Sky News. She has written for the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Express and City AM, among other outlets.

Benedict McAleenan

Benedict McAleenan is a Senior Adviser to Policy Exchange’s Energy and Environment Unit. He is a public policy advisor with over 13 years’ experience advising on policy development, political risk and thought leadership in the Energy, FMCG, Manufacturing and Engineering sectors. His private sector clients have included National Grid, Centrica Energy, the Renewable Energy Association, Shell, Centrica, Sainsbury’s, Endurance Wind Power and Balfour Beatty.

Katy Balls

Katy Balls is the Spectator‘s deputy political editor. She is a regular presenter of the magazine’s daily politics podcast and a columnist for the i newspaper. She was shortlisted for ‘political commentator of the year’ at the 2017 Press Awards. Balls began her career as a diarist on the Telegraph‘s Mandrake column before moving to the political beat. She is not related to Ed Balls. She has a regular podcast, ‘Women with Balls’ – with interviews of women leading the way in their field.

Kate Norgrove

Kate is Executive Director of Advocacy & Campaigns at WWF UK and has spent the last twenty years working as a campaigner on issues ranging from international arms control to European Union policy. She has a particular interest and expertise in supporting the development of impactful organisations working to make a difference in the world. Prior to WWF Kate worked at Purpose as Managing Director of the Climate Lab, an IKEA-foundation funded programme to discover and scale-up the best approaches to public mobilisation on climate globally, and as a Senior Director working with clients from Amnesty International to the Gates Foundation. Previously Kate worked as Global Head of Campaigns at WaterAid, where she led efforts to get a Sustainable Development Goal agreed on water and sanitation. She has lived and worked in Dakar, Senegal, where she led campaigns and policy work for Oxfam West Africa, covering eight countries including Nigeria and Ghana, running advocacy work on conflict in Chad and food crises in Niger and Mali.

Aled Jones

Aled Jones joined FTSE Russell in November 2017 as Head of Sustainable Investing, Europe. Aled joined from Mercer’s Investment Consulting business where he was a Principal in the Global Responsible Investment team for a number of years. At Mercer, Aled worked closely with large European asset owners and investment firms supporting them on all areas of RI strategy development and implementation, as well as ESG research and portfolio and manager analytics. Prior to this, Aled managed the ESG integration activities of one of the UK’s largest public sector pension schemes, the London Pensions Fund Authority. Aled’s RI industry experience spans more than 15 years during which time he has also worked in ESG analysis and research, as well as corporate voting and engagement for active portfolios on behalf of institutional and retail clients. Aled holds an MSc in Environmental Science from Lund University in Sweden and is a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.