Moving and building: local government and the climate challenge

Livestream link:

Livestream link:

Local governments are at the core of two of the UK’s biggest climate challenges: transportation and buildings and infrastructure. How can the UK both improve and green transport so that we can all get around more easily while meeting our climate targets? At the same time, we know that addressing climate change requires rapid infrastructure development. But many studies show that building in the UK is slower and more expensive than in other countries. How do we build what we need without losing what is important? What can local leaders do to deliver on these imperatives, and what support do they need for national government to be successful?

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.

Christopher Hammond is the Chief Executive of UK100. Formerly the director of UK100’s award-nominated Membership & Insights team, Christopher has doubled the size of the network and launched the Climate Leadership Academy and Local Power in Action programme since joining in June 2021. Previously, Christopher served as the elected Leader of Southampton City Council. In 2020, he was shortlisted for ‘Leader of the Year’ in the LGIU Councillor Awards. Christopher holds a degree from Bournemouth University, which named him its 2019 Alumni of the Year.

Anna Railton is the Oxford City Council Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford and Climate Justice.

Councillor Pete Sudbury is the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council.