Adapting to climate change - challenges and opportunities for the future

This panel briefing will consider the impacts of climate change on the social and economic environment, and give an insight into the work business, government and the not-for-profit sectors are doing to manage climate change-related risks, protect communities and strengthen economic resilience.

You will hear from:

  • Chris Stark, Chief Executive, Committee on Climate Change. Chris will give an updated on the strategic priorities of the Committee on Climate Change, focusing on their collaboration with business and government to prepare for climate change, meet carbon budgets, and the key priorities on your adaptation agenda.
  • Dr Rebecca Heaton, Head of Sustainability and Policy, Drax Group. Rebecca will give an overview of the work Drax Group is doing in reducing carbon emissions. By using sustainably sourced biomass, Drax Power is working towards delivering low-carbon, secure energy to meet the UK's climate targets. 
  • Professor John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser, BEIS. John will discuss the role of the Chief Scientific Adviser in informing policy through science and engineering. He will give an overview and how good practice in relation to climate change is embedded in the work of the department, and the implications for business and the wider society.

About the speakers

Chris Stark joined the Committee on Climate Change from the Scottish Government where he was the Director of Energy and Climate Change, leading the development of Scotland’s approach to emissions reduction and the accompanying energy system transition.

Previously, Chris headed up the Scottish Government’s central strategy team. He has widespread experience of economic policy-making and has worked in a number of Whitehall departments including HM Treasury and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Dr Rebecca Heaton is Head of Sustainability and Policy at Drax Group and has responsibility for the sustainability of the global forest supply chains used to deliver sustainable biomass to its power station. She is also responsible for research and policy work. Rebecca has extensive experience of working with businesses on a range of topics, from biofuels, land-use and forestry, adaptation, as well as broader sustainability and social investment projects.

Professor John Loughhead is Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Prior to this he was Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Before joining DECC, John was Executive Director at the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). Prior to that, he was Corporate Vice-President of Technology and Intellectual Property at Alstom’s head office in Paris.

John’s professional career has been predominantly in industrial research and development for the electronics and electrical power industries, including advanced, high power industrial gas turbines, new energy conversion systems, spacecraft thermal management, electrical and materials development for electricity generation and transmission equipment, and electronic control systems. He has extensive international experience in both industry and academia.


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