Expert leads

The Expert Leads are responsible for ensuring that:

  • The information provided to Climate Assembly UK assembly is balanced, accurate and comprehensive;
  • The assembly is focused on the key decisions facing the UK about how to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

They are specialists in different approaches to tackling climate change.

Involve contacted the Expert Leads before submitting a proposal for Parliament’s tender for contract in Spring 2019. The team at Parliament working on Climate Assembly UK approved these individuals when awarding the contract, on the basis of their clear expertise in addressing climate change.

Chris Stark

Chief Executive of the Committee of Climate Change

Chris Stark is the Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the public body tasked by the Climate Change Act to be the independent authority on tackling climate change. Chris leads a team of analysts and specialists, offering insight into the challenges of reducing UK emissions and adapting to the changing climate. Chris has received particular support in his role as Expert Lead from Jenny Hill, Head of Buildings and International Action, Committee on Climate Change.

Jim Watson

Professor of Energy Policy and Research Director at the UCL Institute of Sustainable Resources

Professor Jim Watson is Professor of Energy Policy and Research Director at the University College London Institute of Sustainable Resources. He was Director of the UK Energy Research Centre from 2013 to 2019, and Director of the Sussex Energy Group, University of Sussex from 2008 to 2013. Jim has 20 years’ research experience on climate change, energy and innovation policy. He frequently advises the UK government and other organisations. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, a judge for the Queens Awards (sustainable development) and a member of the government’s fossil fuel price assumptions panel. Jim has received particular support in the part of his Expert Lead role relating to the 'How we travel' theme from Jillian Anable, Professor of Transport and Energy at the University of Leeds, and a co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre. Jillian is a member of Climate Assembly UK's Academic Panel.

Lorraine Whitmarsh

Professor of Environmental Psychology, University of Cardiff, and Director of the UK Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh is an environmental psychologist, specialising in perceptions and behaviour in relation to climate change, energy and transport, based in the School of Psychology, Cardiff University. She is Director of the UK Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST). She regularly advises governments and other organisations on low-carbon behaviour change and climate change communication. Her research projects have included studies of energy efficiency behaviours, waste reduction and carrier bag reuse, perceptions of smart technologies and electric vehicles, low-carbon lifestyles, and responses to climate change.

Rebecca Willis

Professor in Practice, Lancaster University

Rebecca Willis is a Professor in Practice at Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University. Her work focuses on energy and climate governance. From 2015-2019 she was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of UKRI’s Energy Programme, and from 2011-15 she was a Council Member of the Natural Environment Research Council. Previously she was Vice-Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, advising the Prime Minister and First Ministers of the devolved administrations; and Director of the think tank Green Alliance. In 2009 Rebecca founded Green Alliance’s Climate Leadership Programme, an initiative to support Members of the UK Parliament, and still advises on the Programme. Rebecca is a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation and an adviser to the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund.