2021 Speakers

Our speakers for the 2022 conference will be released in due course.

Christine Talbot

Conference Host
Christine is a multi award winning television presenter and journalist and has been one of the most recognisable faces and voices in the ITV Yorkshire region for almost three decades.
Known for her warmth, empathy and authority, Christine began her journalism career writing for newspapers and later worked for both ITV and the BBC where she has fronted numerous live programmes, including the nightly ITV Calendar regional news for 20 years before stepping down this summer.
She also hosted the popular magazine show Tonight for four years and was a pioneer presenter on Wellbeing, one of the first health and lifestyle digital channels in the UK.
Christine is also an experienced and prolific event and awards host and moderator.

Bill Adams

Regional Secretary, TUC Yorkshire & Humber
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. Bill is also a Commissioner for the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission.

Jillian Anable

Professor of Transport and Energy, The Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Jillian’s research addresses the potential for demand-side solutions to reduce carbon and energy from transport. Broadly, her current research direction investigates ‘the future of the car’ – bringing together socio-technical developments including electrification, new mobility services and the psychology of car owning and driving to explore the concept of ‘car usership’.
She currently leads the Transport and Mobility Theme in the UKRI’s Centre for Research on Energy Demand Solutions as well as co-leads the Energy for Mobility Theme of the UK Energy Research Centre.
She has sat on a number of advisory boards and strategy panels for UK and Scottish Government Departments, the Climate Change Committee, US Dept. of Energy, House of Lords Science and Tech Committee, UK Research Councils and NGOs, currently acting as board member of Transport & Environment, the Scottish National Transport Strategy Review Board and is the only academic representative on the UK Government’s Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce.

Liz Barber

CEO of Yorkshire Water and Chair of Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission
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. Liz is Chair of Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission.

Adam Bedford

Regional Director, NFU
Adam Bedford has been the Regional Director for NFU in the North East since 2016 – representing 6,000 farm businesses across Yorkshire, County Durham and Northumberland.
Originally from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire from a non -farming family, Adam studied Sustainable Land Management at Askham Bryan College and an MSc in Rural Development at Newcastle University.
He has worked for the NFU for 14 years in different regions of England and was previously Director of the NFU European office in Brussels, the British Agriculture Bureau.

Tracy Brabin 

Mayor of West Yorkshire
Tracy Brabin is a British Labour and Co-operative politician who was elected as the first Mayor of West Yorkshire, and the first ever woman Metro Mayor in May 2021. She was the Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen from 2016 until 2021. As MP, she held appointments as Shadow Early Years Minister, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries. Born in Batley, Tracy was an actor and television writer prior to entering politics.

Emma Brigganshaw

Environment Manager, LNER
Emma gained 13 years experience as an environmental professional in the civil engineering and water sectors before joining the rail industry with Virgin Trains East Coast in January 2016 and London North Eastern Railway in June 2018.
As Environment Manager Emma is responsible for the business energy and environmental management systems, strategy and plans to reduce the business impact on the environment including decarbonisation, energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling.

Emma Bridge

Chief Executive, Community Energy England
Emma is Community Energy England's Chief Executive, having been instrumental in developing the organisation since its creation by a group of community energy practitioners in 2014. Community Energy England (CEE) provides a voice for the community energy sector representing over 270 organisations committed to putting people at the heart of the energy system. Emma also sits on a number of regional, national and european advisory groups related to energy, climate change and community action. These roles include chairing the UK COP26 community roundtable and sitting on the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission. Prior to CEE, Emma worked on sustainable development across the public, private and community sectors.


Chris Brown worked in Government before joining the Meat and Livestock Commission as Beef Strategy Manager.
He moved into retail as an Agriculture Technologist with Marks and Spencer. After joining ASDA as Agriculture Development Manager, with a remit to develop ASDA's strategies and activities across all sectors of agriculture, Chris's role was extended to Head of Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing.
Chris was appointed to his present role in 2019 covering supply chain sustainability including natural capitals, greenhouse gas emissions, seafood production, commodity sourcing and agricultural development. He is a member of the BBSRC Bioscience for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Strategy Advisory Panel and a Commissioner for the Yorkshire and Humberside Climate Commission.

Iain Clacher

UK Centre for Greening Finance & Investment
Iain is an internationally recognized expert on pensions and retirement savings.
He is part of the newly established UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI).
CGFI is a national centre established to accelerate the adoption and use of climate and environmental data and analytics by financial institutions. Iain is leading on the development of commercialization and innovation hubs in Leeds and London (with Imperial College) and the development of climate and environmental analytics for pensions and asset management.

Sarah Clark

Operations Manager, Aura, University of Hull
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. She is also a Commissioner for Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission.

Cllr Richard Cooper

Leader of the Harrogate Borough Council
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 and a Vice-Chair for Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission. 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.

Judith Cruickshank

Regional Managing Director for Business Banking, Scotland & North at NatWest
Judith Cruickshank has worked with NatWest for 12 years in a variety of strategy roles, predominantly focused on customer solutions and was most recently Head of Retail Strategy & Innovation. She has recently been appointed as RMD Business Banking, Scotland and North England for NatWest. She is particularly passionate about helping personal and business customers prepare for the future through building financial capability and transitioning to a lower carbon world.

Sajalu Dahal

Lead Analyst for the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan
Sajalu is the Lead Analyst for the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan (HICP) project, which aims to illustrate how the UK’s largest emitting industrial cluster can reach net zero by 2040 - potentially making it the first industrial cluster in the world to do so. She is leading the technical delivery of the HICP project in collaboration with 8 private sector industrial partners. She’s previously served the local authority energy agenda as the Energy Project Manager for HEY LEP.
Sajalu is a degree qualified Chemical Engineer, and an associate member of the IChemE. She is involved in the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, and an active ambassador of STEM subjects.

Elizabeth Edginton

Business in the Community
Elizabeth has 15 years of experience at Business in the Community, working with hundreds of companies to make environmental sustainability part of the way they do business, offering bespoke expertise to organisations from multiple sectors, from family businesses to FTSE Top100 companies. Elizabeth has followed the development of climate action - providing an insight into what works, what the challenges are, and how SMEs can take the opportunity to build their business and work towards zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Piers Forster

Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate
Piers Forster is Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate and Professor of Physical Climate Change at the University of Leeds. He researches the causes of climate change, climate impacts and mitigation strategies. He sits on the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee and has played leading roles authoring Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, including their 6th Assessment Report published in August.

Rosa Foster

Commissioner for the Environment Agency
Appointed as the Environment Agency’s lead on the climate emergency response for Yorkshire Area in November 2019, Rosa’s portfolio includes strategic business management for one of the largest operational Areas of the Environment Agency and delivery of our eMission 2030 sustainability strategy.

Rosa’s top three priorities are:
1) developing a carbon reduction & balancing plan to achieve Net Zero by 2030;
2) working with a wide range of partners across Yorkshire to improve our climate resilience to the changes that will occur as a result of carbon emissions made already and
3) embedding the principles of sustainability across the work of the Environment Agency in Yorkshire.

Over the last five years Rosa has sponsored the largest Natural Flood Management Programme in the country from concept inception to delivery.

Holly Hansen-Maughan

Partnerships and Development Lead, Harrogate College (part of Luminate Education Group)
I have worked in teaching, community development and project management and now work in Further Education at Harrogate College, part of the wider Luminate Education Group. Recently I have been working on multiple ways to engage businesses in an employer-led curriculum that will allow education to fill the skill gaps required for the future green economy. In the last month this includes; the first Harrogate Climate Action Festival, an Employers Networks and a Retrofit Awareness project.

Tom Holvey

Chief Impact Officer and Chief Economist, UK Infrastructure Bank
Tom is currently on secondment from DHSC where he was the Director for Covid PPE during the pandemic mitigation response having previously lead on EU Exit analysis including trade negotiations and supply planning.
He has also worked in the region on economic growth for Leeds City Council as well as for former regional development agencies and several government departments largely around economic growth.

Jemma Hynes

CEO & Technical Director at Foodsync
Since 2008, Jemma has worked with clients in the public, private, and third sectors on a dizzying array of projects. From helping local authorities and NHS trusts improve the quality of food in hospitals and care homes to establishing community growing projects, Jemma’s wealth of experience and sound technical knowledge has helped establish her as a leading food industry expert. Jemma is passionate about sustainability, and is committed to building a stronger, more resilient food system.
Thanks to her wide range of contacts and her connections with industry, academia, and local political leadership, Jemma has used her expertise to address some of the biggest food and sustainability challenges at the highest strategic level. A true connector with a knack for bringing unlikely people together in often challenging circumstances, Jemma is skilled at developing innovative and effective solutions to complex problems. She is the driving force behind FoodSync, and a beacon of positive change for the food system.

Dan Jarvis

MP for Barnsley Central, Mayor of 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. He is a Vice-Chair for the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission.

Chris Jaume

Co-Founder and Director Cooper King Distillery
Chris Jaume is an entrepreneur, architect and co-founder and director of Cooper King Distillery, a business producing sustainable spirits ten miles north of York.
Having trained as an architect for seven years in Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds, he pivoted his career in 2016 following two years travelling through Australia with his partner Abbie. Together they established Cooper King Distillery in 2016 and have achieved a host of international awards, michelin-starred collaborations and prestigious stockists. Leading the industry in terms of sustainability, the distillery is an active part of the circular economy, aiming to make Yorkshire a carbon neutral county by 2034.

Ava Jones

Marketing Coordinator, AESSEAL plc
Ava joined AESSEAL plc three years ago as a Business Assurance Apprentice. The apprenticeship focused on lean and continuous improvement, however Ava has primarily focused on the Sustainability and Net Zero plan for AES Engineering Ltd Group.
AESSEAL plc has achieved Net Zero in Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions for 2020. The Group of companies outlined a target of achieving global Net Zero by the 1 st April 2029, however it is likely this will be achieved far sooner.
In October AES Engineering Ltd Group made an historic commitment to £29 million of planet-friendly investment by 2029 in order to go beyond Net Zero for the global business. To date almost £3 million has already been committed.
Since the completion of her apprenticeship, Ava’s role has developed into Marketing Coordinator for AESSEAL plc and Betterworld.Solutions. Ava works directly with the Founder and Communications Director of Betterworld.Solutions to encourage other organisations to adopt an Investment Policy to Prevent Global Warming, and assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Ava has an interest in developing both her personal and professional knowledge, therefore in her spare time is completing a BA (Honours) Business and Management Degree with the Open University.

Mark Goldstone

West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
Mark heads up the Chamber’s business representation and policy activities advising local authorities, politicians, government departments and ministers on regional business issues and sentiment. He is responsible for the Chamber’s economic research function providing evidence and intelligence on issues including environment & sustainability, infrastructure investment, international trade, and education & skills. The Chamber represents firms who collectively employ around ¼ of the working population of our West & North Yorkshire

Andy Gouldson

Director of Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission
Andy has worked on a wide range of issues relating to environmental policy and management since 1990. Since 2008, his main focus has been on climate change and how to promote low carbon, climate resilient development, especially at the local or regional scales. Andy specialises in engaged, impact-oriented research, and throughout his career has worked closely with policy makers, regulators, development agencies, businesses, NGOs and communities both within the UK and internationally. 

Andy is also Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Leeds and Chair of the Leeds Climate Commission. 

Amandeep Kaur Maan

Co-founder of EcoSikhUK
As co-founder of EcoSikhUK, Amandeep has seen the positive impacts of developing collaborative partnerships to bring environmental change, especially at a community level. She is now using this knowledge in her role as a commissioner for the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission. Her work promotes successes, provides support to replicate effective models and facilitates new project ideas. Amandeep studied International Business, Waste Management, Internal auditing and Environmental Management Systems and her previous work has been in financial and housing sectors.

Shelley Langan-Newton

Senior Vice President Group Operations, aql
As the SVP - Group Operations, Shelley manages the day-to-day functions of the aql group of companies using her guidance, supervision and leadership skills. Her role also involves the senior management of aql group company BlueWave, where she is Managing Director. Shelley successfully steered BlueWave’s growth to become a fully licensed telecommunications operator on the Isle of Man, regulated by the Isle of Man Communications Commission and Ofcom, along with gaining full GSMA member status. She is also a founding director of the Isle of Man’s only Internet Exchange, ManxIX.

With a strong background working in the telecoms industry in the United Kingdom before moving to the international blue chip, SES Satellites, Shelley spent time working across the continent in Luxembourg, The Netherlands, France and Spain.

Shelley is passionate about supporting the local community, she is a member of the Advisory Board for Career Ready Isle of Man, is a Junior Achievement Company Programme Mentor and sits on the Chamber of Commerce Digital Committee.

Nader Mabadi

Joining ITV in 2004 Nader has worked on many productions within Entertainment, Drama and Continual Drama, in many different roles including 1st Assistant Director, Director, Scheduler, Production Management and now Head of Production for Emmerdale. Nader is responsible for producing commercially successful content whilst driving operational and strategic innovation and evolution; managing risk, finance, people and brand reputation. Emmerdale has a large and loyal audience and therefore a great opportunity to start conversations and lead positive change.

Tom Rumboll

Chief Executive Officer, Synetiq
Tom Rumboll is the CEO of SYNETIQ, the UK’s largest integrated salvage, dismantling and vehicle recycling company.
Tom joined as Executive Chairman in 2019 to manage the integration of SYNETIQ post a four-way business merger that he played a key part in executing. His role is to develop the people, systems, and structures to fulfil SYNETIQ’s ambitions to become an industry leading business that plays an unrivalled part in the circular economy.
Fourteen years’ experience in Corporate Banking developed Tom’s expertise in corporate finance, financial analysis, and risk management. With subsequent experience of building client and customer-focussed teams, proposition development, business reorganisation, internal and external communications and creating effective organisation structures.
Tom is passionate about sustainability and the key role it plays in driving the SYNETIQ business and the industry as a whole forward.

Wallace Sampson, OBE

Chief Executive of Harrogate Borough Council
Wallace chairs the Harrogate District Public Services Leadership Board and is a member of the North Yorkshire Children’s Safeguarding Partnership Executive. He is lead local authority Chief Executive in Yorkshire and Humber for energy and low carbon and Senior Officer for Local Authority Coordination on the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission. 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.

Jatinder Singh Mehmi

Co-Chair of Sikh Alliance Yorkshire (SAY)
Jatinder’s role as co-chair of SAY is to provide Sikhs with a voice on social, economic and political issues. SAY has providing a platform for Sikhs to engage on issues such as mental health, social isolation, hate crime and experiences of COVID, by entering into dialogues with local to national agencies.
Jatinder has over 40 years’ experience working within the community and voluntary sector and works within the education, music and religious sectors.
In a professional capacity, he is a Principal Social Scientist at the Environment Agency carrying out research and providing social scientific advice and insights. He has a background in climate change, waste management and sustainable development having worked in the public and private sector.
He has doctorate in a combined discipline of artificial intelligence and waste management practices in developing countries, in addition to three other degrees.
Jatinder is a Yorkshire and Humber climate commissioner.

Stuart Strathdee

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

Richard Sulley

Net Zero Project Director, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority
Richard is an accomplished engineer with a seasoned technical background in mechanical engineering, and extensive experience in the private and public sectors delivering carbon reduction roadmaps for organisations of all types and scales.
Richard’s core skills comprise the identification and implementation of large-scale energy, water and carbon reduction projects, and has provided energy efficiency, cost and carbon reduction consultancy services to a variety of blue-chip clients across Europe.
Richard is the Net Zero Project Director for the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

Lee Thompson

Partnerships Manager, Yorkshire - Sustrans
Lee’s role as Partnership Manager requires him to successfully engage with key stakeholders, build partnerships, and raise political ambition which prioritises active travel and helps create a world in which the way we travel benefits our health, the environment, and society.
Lee has over 25 years’ experience of project management and coordination delivering health and community focused programmes which improve health and wellbeing outcomes. He has project managed programmes for some major national charities including Age Uk, The British Heart Foundation, and some local delivery organisations such as ‘Reds in the community’ home of Yorkshire football at Barnsley FC.
Lee is very passionate about active travel and proud to support the work of Sustrans in tackling the climate crises.

Rob Valentine

Director for Leeds, Bruntwood
Rob has worked with Bruntwood for 21 years, in that time performing a number of different roles, but mostly focussed on investment and development.
As Director for Leeds and also Birmingham too, Rob is deeply passionate about the regional cities and the part they play in the economic and social development of the UK.
Bruntwood are committed to a sustainable future and are proud of being the first commercial property partner to sign up to the UK Green Building Council's Net Zero Carbon Commitment pledge.

Mike Wake

Director Of City Energy Solutions & Generation, E.ON UK
E.ON is leading the energy transition, providing smart, sustainable and personalised solutions for customers at home, in business and across entire towns and cities. Mike Wake heads E.ON’s UK district heating and generation business and has over 30 years of energy industry experience encompassing business development, construction and operations. His team deliver district heating networks to housing developments, local businesses, towns and cities, and they work alongside our electric vehicle, lighting and grid, new connections, energy management and city transformation teams to deliver innovative business solutions and entire sustainable cities.
In approaching the UK’s 2050 net zero target, E.ON are helping thousands of businesses take control of their energy and our experts are delivering sustainable energy solutions to help businesses cut costs, reduce energy waste, and meet their sustainability goals.

Curtis Yip

Member of the Regional Youth Climate Assembly (RYCA)
RYCA was set up by the Y&H Youth Work Unit and is designed to provide a collective youth voice for young people within the climate discussion.
Recently, their conversations were brought into the global pool at COP 26 through their ‘Ripple Effect Project’ partnered with SAIIA.
Curtis will share RYCA’s work/ growth, experiences of working internationally and their further ideology of tackling climate change through the intersectionality that they believe young people play within the climate crisis!
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