Bristol and West of England Initiative establishes a Climate Advisory Group

Tom Smith
Digital Marketing Executive
14th April 2021

A Climate Advisory Group has been created by the Bristol and West of England Chambers of Commerce and Initiative (BCCI) to provide technical expertise on how business can play the most effective role to accelerate Bristol and the city region towards Net Zero Carbon emissions and climate resiliency.

The West of England Combined Authority, Bristol City Council, Bath and North East Somerset Council South Gloucestershire Council and North Somerset Council have each declared Climate Emergencies and ambitions to be net zero by 2030. These are ambitious targets which aim to reach Net Zero ahead of the UK government targets. Plans and strategies are beginning to emerge. The pace and scale of change needed to reach Net Zero is enormous and will require all businesses, organisations and individuals take action.

Given that the city region has less than 10 years to make significant changes to reduce carbon emissions, it is important for BCCI to understand where businesses can best take action and how collectively we can collaborate across the city to prioritise and co-ordinate activity. It is therefore important that the technical aspects are understood to enable good decision making. 

The Climate Advisory Group is chaired by David Mellor who is the Vice President of Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative and is made up of members of the Board, Executive Teams and selected members with climate expertise. Members of the group include:

  • Matthew Tanner, ss Great Britain
  • Roger Key, Transport Consultant
  • Kevin Gibbs,  WBD
  • Ann Cousins, Arup
  • Anna Ellis, Jacobs
  • Lizzi Testiani, Bristol Green Capital Partnership
  • Matt Griffith, Business West
  • Nina Skubala, Business West

Each meeting focused on a particular aspect of reaching Net Zero including: economy, environmental sustainability, nature, health and wellbeing, homes and communities, learning and skills, and transport and connectivity. Industry experts will be invited to these meetings to provide further technical expertise. To date, we have been joined by:

  • Alex Minshull, Bristol City Council
  • Simon Roberts, Centre for Sustainable Energy
  • David Dibble, Bristol City College
  • Ann O’Driscoll, North Bristol Suscom
  • Jon Usher, Sustrans
  • Jonathan Foster-Clark, Atkins
  • Lorraine Whitmarsh, Bath University

This work will support the Initiative in its policy and advocacy work and ensure that business can input and shape the city regions response to Climate Change.

David Mellor says: “In recognition of the urgency of the climate crisis, The advisory group will work as rapidly as possible to enable the Initiative to take action and for business to play its important role in decarbonising the city”.

Nina Skubala, Head of Climate Strategy at Business West says: “This is part of the wider Business West approach to tackling Climate Change. As an organisation we have an ambition to be Net Zero by 2030 and have created the Trading to Net Zero hub to enable our members and the wider business community to take action. As the largest and most trusted business support organisation in the region we can play an important role to ensure all businesses are supported and incentivised to take action on Climate Change and to also enable business to input and play a role in the city region transition to net zero and climate resilience.”

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