A green and pleasant land for nature, food, energy, and people

Livestream available on the St Antony's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@stantonyscollegeuniversity2705/streams

Livestream link: www.youtube.com/@stantonyscollegeuniversity2705/streams

Delivering net zero requires restoring the UK’s natural environment, as does meeting critical biodiversity targets. But the UK’s limited territory also faces acute demand for food production, housing, and energy. How do we balance these objectives?

The panel is still being put together; please find details of confirmed speakers below.


Thomas Hale is Professor at the Blavatnik School of Government and St Antony’s College, Oxford. His research explores how we can manage transnational problems effectively and fairly. He co-leads the Net Zero Tracker and the Net Zero Regulation and Policy Hub. His latest book is Long Problems: Climate Change and the Challenge of Governing across Time (Princeton, 2024).

Chris Skidmore served as MP for Kingswood from 2010-2024. In 2022-2023 he led the Government’s net zero review. He was Minister of State jointly at the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 2019-2020. He was previously Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care between, at the Department for Education, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Chris also served as Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office. Chris was educated at Bristol Grammar School before studying history at Oxford, where he continued with postgraduate research. He is a Visiting Parliamentary Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Alex Sobel was elected MP for Leeds North West in 2017. A graduate of the University of Leeds, his background is in the social enterprise sector. In 2019 Alex helped form the Net Zero All-Party Parliamentary Group. In 2020 he was appointed as the shadow minister for Tourism and Heritage, and in 2021 we was appointed as shadow minister for Nature Recovery and the Domestic Environment in the Opposition DEFRA Team. He is a Visiting Parliamentary Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Mark Owen-Lloyd is the Director of the Botley West Solar Farm project currently proposed for development in West Oxfordshire. He has worked on this project and others with Photovolt Development Partners since 2019. Prior to this, he served as the head of UK power trading at E.On UK, before moving to Dusseldorf as the head of power and carbon trading. Before entering the energy market, he spent the early part of his career as a Eurobond trader at Nomura. He holds an MA in Modern History from Christ Church college, Oxford.

Minette Batters was the first woman to be elected President of the National Farmers’ Union in 113 years. She’s represented the interests of over 46,000 farming businesses across England and Wales through unprecedented times, navigating the challenges of Brexit, Covid 19 and the war in Ukraine. During this time, she worked with four Prime Ministers – three of them in one year – and six Defra Secretaries of State. She stood down from the post in February 2024. Minette is mother to twins and is a tenant farmer, on the Longford Estate near Salisbury, Wiltshire. She began farming in 1998 having sold her house and negotiated the farm business tenancy, starting with fifteen beef cows but fulfilling a lifetime ambition to farm. Today the farm has a Spring and Autumn calving Aberdeen Angus beef herd, arable crops and a few sheep.

Neil Kenward is the Director of Strategy, Economics, Research and Net Zero (SERN) at Ofgem. Prior to this, Neil spent five years as head of Energy and Environmental policy and spending at HM Treasury. This followed a range of energy, economic, and strategy roles across the UK government, including working in Tony Blair’s Strategy Unit, running the Foreign Office economics network, and head of Globalisation and Emerging Markets in the Treasury. Neil started his career in the private sector, as a consultant on energy and public policy questions, and is an economist by training.

Andy Egan is the Head of Conservation Policy at The Woodland Trust and a Director of Fellowship of the Trees CIC. Andy has a rich and varied career as a community and global educator, community development practitioner, campaigner, consultant and leader in the fields of global education, environmental and social justice, community forestry and policy. Andy formerly led the Global School Partnerships programme at the British Council and was Chief Executive of International Tree Foundation, Director of People and Planet and Climate Action Lead for South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils. Andy founded the Community Tree Nursery Collaborative and with TreeSisters initiated the forthcoming “Rooted in Ethics: Community Tree Stewardship Framework”.