Friends of COP

The “Friends of COP” brought expertise from countries across six continents, including France, Barbados, Chad, Australia, India and Peru. They advised the UK Government and inspired action from their sectors ahead of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow. 

A photograph of Jim Skea

Prof. Jim Skea CBE

Professor of Sustainable Energy, Imperial College London

Jim Skea CBE is Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London with research interests in energy, climate change and technological innovation. He is Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III for the 6th assessment cycle. He was Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre 2004-12 and Director of the Policy Studies Institute 1998-2004. He was a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change from its inception in 2008 until 2018. He is currently chairing Scotland’s Just Transition Commission. Until June 2017, he was President of the UK Energy Institute.

A photograph of Nathalie Seddon

Ms Nathalie Seddon

Professor of Biodiversity, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

Nathalie Seddon is Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford. She is also Founding Director of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative, an interdisciplinary programme of research, policy advice, and education aimed at increasing understanding of the effectiveness of nature-based solutions to global challenges. After training as an evolutionary ecologist at Cambridge University, she developed broad research interests in understanding the origins and maintenance of biodiversity and its relationship with global change.  She is also Senior Associate of the International Institute for Environment and Development and advises governments, UN agencies and businesses on Nature-based Solutions.

A photograph of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Director General, World Trade Organization

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is an economist and international development expert with over 30 years of experience. She is Director General of the World Trade Organization, and was formerly Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and of the African Risk Capacity (ARC). She is Co-Chair of The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and also Co-Chair of the Board of Lumos, a small-cap renewable energy company. She also sits on the Boards of Standard Chartered PLC and Twitter Inc. She was recently appointed as AU Special Envoy to mobilise International support for the fight against COVID-19 and WHO Special Envoy for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

A photograph of Nick Mabey

Mr Nick Mabey

Chief Executive of E3G

Nick Mabey is Chief Executive and a founder director of E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism) a non-profit European organisation dedicated to accelerating the transition to sustainable development. In addition to his management role, Nick works on European climate and energy policy, climate diplomacy and foreign policy, and the security implications of climate change and resource scarcity. Nick was previously a senior advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit leading work on energy, climate change, countries at risk of instability, organised crime and fisheries. Before he joined the UK government, Nick was Head of Economics and Development at WWF-UK. Nick is currently serving on the London Sustainable Development Commission and as a trustee of the Ashden Awards.

A photograph of Selwin Hart

Mr Selwin Hart

Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Assistant Secretary-General for the Climate Action Team

Mr Selwin Hart is currently the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action, and ensures delivery of the Secretary‑General’s priorities on climate change. Before his appointment, Selwin Hart served as the Executive Director for the Caribbean region at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). He was previously the Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American States for Barbados and Director of the Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team, leading the team’s delivery of the 2014 Climate Summit and the Secretary-General’s engagement in the process leading to the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

A photograph of Sharan Burrow

Ms Sharan Burrow

General Secretary of International Trade Union Confederation

Sharan Burrow is the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, representing 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories with 332 national affiliates. Previously President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 2000 – 2010, Sharan is a passionate advocate and campaigner for social justice, women’s rights, the environment and labour law reforms, and has led union negotiations on major economic reforms and labour rights campaigns in her home country of Australia and globally.

A photograph of Sir Ian Cheshire

Sir Ian Cheshire

Non-Executive Director, Barclays PLC and Chairman, Barclays UK

Sir Ian was appointed as a non-exec Director of Barclays PLC and Chairman of Barclays UK in April 2017. He is also non-executive director BT Group plc, Chairman Menhaden PLC and chair of Prince of Wales’s Charitable Fund.   Previous appointments include Chairman of Debenhams, CEO of B&Q, Chairman Maisons du monde, and Lead Non-Executive Director for the Government . He was Chairman of the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change, and chaired the Ecosystem Markets Task Force. Sir Ian was knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to Business, Sustainability and the Environment.

A photograph of Varun Sivaram

Dr Varun Sivaram

Visiting Senior Fellow, Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy

Dr. Varun Sivaram is a physicist, bestselling author, and clean energy technology expert with experience spanning the corporate, policy, and academic sectors—most recently as Chief Technology Officer of ReNew Power, a multibillion-dollar renewable energy firm that is India’s largest. He is currently a visiting senior fellow at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy. His previous roles include Director of the rnergy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, senior energy advisor to the Los Angeles Mayor and New York Governor. He serves on the boards of the Stanford University energy and environment institutes.

Photograph of Lord Adair Turner

Lord Adair Turner

Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission

Lord Turner chairs the Energy Transitions Commission, a global coalition of companies and environmental NGOs.

He is Chairman of Chubb Europe, an advisor to Envision Energy and board member of Envision AESC, and a Senior Fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. During his public policy career Lord Turner chaired the UK’s Financial Services Authority (2008-2013), the Climate Change Committee (2008-2012), the Pensions Commision (2003- 2006), Low Pay Commission (2002-2006), and was Director General of the CBI (1995-

2000). He has held senior business roles at McKinsey&Co, Merrill Lynch Europe and Standard Chartered amongst others.

A photograph of Andrew Steer

Dr Andrew Steer

CEO, Bezos Earth Fund

Dr. Andrew Steer is the CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. He was formerly the President and CEO of the World Resources Institute. Dr. Steer joined WRI from the World Bank, where he served as Special Envoy for Climate Change from 2010 - 2012. He was previously Director General at the UK Department of International Development.  Dr. Steer is a Commissioner for the Global Commission on Adaptation, a Global Agenda Trustee for the World Economic Forum, and is a member of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, the Energy Transitions Commission, the Champions 12.3 Coalition, and the Sustainable Advisory Groups of the Bank of America, HSBC, and Temasek.

A photograph of Lord Nicholas Stern

Lord Nicholas Stern

IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and Head of the India Observatory at the London School of Economics

Lord Stern’s previous roles include President of the Royal Economic Society (2018-19) and President of the British Academy (2013- 2017). He was previously Chief Economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development 1994-1999, and Chief Economist and Senior Vice President at the World Bank, 2000-2003. He was Head, UK Government Economic Service 2003-2007 and produced the Stern Review on the economics of climate change. He was knighted in 2004, made a cross-bench life peer in 2007 and appointed Companion of Honour in 2017 for services to economics, international relations and tackling climate change.

A photograph of Wanjira Mathai

Ms Wanjira Mathai

Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute

Wanjira formerly served as Co-chair of WRI’s Global Restoration Council and a Senior Advisor to the Global Restoration Initiative. She is the current Chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation, and also serves on the Board of the World Agroforestry Center and as an advisory council member of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. Wanjira has also held strategic and advocacy roles raising the prominence and visibility of global issues such as climate change, youth leadership, and landscape restoration, at Women Entrepreneurs in Renewables and the Green Belt Movement the organization her mother (2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) founded.

A photograph of Paul Polman

Mr Paul Polman

Co-Founder, IMAGINE

Paul is co-founder of IMAGINE, which mobilises business leaders around tackling climate change and global inequality. He is also Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce, The B Team, Saïd Business School and The Valuable 500, and Vice-Chair of the UN Global Compact. Paul was a member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel that developed the Sustainable Development Goals, and he remains an active SDG Advocate in working with global organisations and across industry to deliver the 2030 development agenda.

A photograph of Ajay Mathur

Mr Ajay Mathur

Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute

Ajay is currently the Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, and a member of the Indian Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change. He also co-chairs the global Energy Transitions Commission. Previously, he headed the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and was responsible for mainstreaming energy efficiency in houses, offices and industries through a number of innovative initiatives.  He was a leading climate change negotiator, and was the Indian spokesperson at the Paris climate negotiations. He served as the interim Director of the Green Climate Fund during its foundational period.

A photograph of Kate Hampton

Ms Kate Hampton

Chief Executive Officer, Children's Investment Fund Foundation

Kate became CEO in March 2016, having run CIFF's Climate Change team since 2009. Kate sits on the board of the European Climate Foundation. Her current advisory roles include to the Observer Research Foundation (India) and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development. She has been featured in the top 100 Profiles of Paris, a collection of stories from the key people who created the Paris Agreement. Kate’s career spans roles in government, finance, consulting, a think tank and NGOs.