Chair, Mission Zero Coalition
As the former Energy Minister who signed the UK’s Net Zero by 2025 into law in 2019, The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore OBE has been at the forefront of developing net zero policy and strategy.
He chaired the Independent Review of Net Zero, commissioned by the UK Government. ‘Mission Zero’, a 340-page report containing 129 recommendations was launched on 13 January 2023, receiving a welcome reception both among business, industry and NGOs.
Chris was the Conservative MP for Kingswood from 2010 to 2024. He served in five government departments between 2015 and 2020 including as Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation twice between 2018 and 2020.
In 2019, he was appointed Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, attending Cabinet, during which time he signed the UK’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050 into law, and helped secure the UK Presidency of COP26.
He is currently Chair of the All-Party Group on the Environment and is also a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Co-Chair, Mission Zero Coalition
Tracy Brabin is a British Labour and Co-operative politician who was elected as the first Mayor of West Yorkshire, and the first ever woman Metro Mayor in England, in May 2021.
During her campaign, Tracy pledged to create 1,000 skilled jobs for young people, lead a ‘Creative New Deal’ for the region, bring buses back under public control, tackle the climate emergency and build 5,000 affordable and sustainable homes.
As Mayor, Tracy also inherits the roles and responsibilities of the former Police and Crime Commissioner. Her priorities for policing include to recruit more frontline officers and staff and to prioritise the safety of women and girls.
Prior to her election as Mayor, Tracy was the Member of Parliament for Batley and Spen from 2016 until 2021. As MP, she held appointments as Shadow Early Years Minister, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries.
Moreover, Tracy is a former member of the Women and Equalities Select Committee and a former chair of the Gaps in Support All-Party Parliamentary Group, having led the campaign on behalf of the three million people excluded from Government financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-Chair, Power Generation Network
Dan McGrail took up his post of Chief Executive at RenewableUK in May 2021. Previously he was the CEO of Siemens Engines. He joined Siemens UK in 2004 and has worked in a variety of roles across the energy industry.
Between 2010 and 2014 he led Siemens plans to develop and invest in offshore wind turbine manufacturing in the UK, securing the world-class offshore wind turbine blade factory and port facility in Hull, negotiating with the UK government and overseeing one of the company’s most significant factory investments in its recent history. The Final Investment Decision of £160m was announced in 2014, alongside a £150m investment by Associated British Ports to revitalise Hull’s Alexandra Dock.
As Managing Director of Siemens Power Generation from 2014-2017, he expanded Siemens UK’s activities in the thermal power market. He became CEO of Siemens Engines in November 2017, leading the rebranding of the company and helping to secure significant growth.
He served as Chair of the Association of Decentralised Energy from 2016 to 2019 and was Vice Chair until February 2021. He set up the Heat Network Industry Council to engage politicians and drive policy reform to build zero carbon heat networks.
He graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in 2003 with a degree in International Business Studies and Spanish. During his studies he spent a year at the University of Alicante and is fluent in Spanish. After graduating, he qualified with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. More recently he completed the CBI Leadership programme, in London, Brussels and Washington DC.
Co-Chair, Buildings Network
Simon McWhirter is the UK Green Building Council’s Director of External Affairs and Deputy CEO, where he leads the policy and political work, as well as overseeing the corporate communications with members, media and the wider industry. He also has oversight of UKGBC’s portfolio of place-based projects and devolved activity, including heading up UKGBC Scotland. Aligned to all this, Simon sits on a variety of fora including the UK government’s Energy Efficiency Task Force, the Green Construction Board’s Steering Group, the Scottish Government’s Green Heat Finance Task Force, and the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Future Homes Taskforce.
Simon brings over 25 years’ experience in communications, business development, industry and policy & advocacy to UKGBC, having held a wide range of roles spanning across the construction, finance and not-for-profit sectors. He joined UKGBC from the Active Building Centre, where he was Head of Engagement. Previous roles include seven years as Sales Director at the innovative housebuilder HAB Housing as Sales Director, and five years at global conservation charity WWF, where he drove their work on the sustainable homes agenda – during this time he sat on the UK government’s 2016 Zero Carbon Task Force and Wales’ Low and Zero Carbon Hub. Prior to joining WWF, Simon enjoyed a diverse career, with roles in the finance sector as an international tax consultant, as well as spending several years as a tabloid newspaper reporter.
He is currently a NED for the Welsh-based sustainable construction and skills social enterprise, Down to Earth, and for a mental health-focussed events organisation Peloton Running. Simon has Masters degrees in Law from Oxford University and International Economic and Business Law from Kyushu University, Japan.
Programme Manager, Mission Zero Coalition
After graduating in Business with Strategic Economics from the University of Edinburgh, Grace was eager to delve deeper into how government and industry can operate in a way that meets the needs of all people whilst living within the means of the planet and, even further, restore the natural environment. To achieve this, she pursued a Master’s degree in Bioeconomy at the Technical University of Munich.
She specialises in Circular Economy, including sustainable production, circular business models, Life Cycle Assessment and the circular economy in urban areas. Joining our team, Grace brings a passion for creating a policy environment that incentivises sustainable practice and sets net zero as the norm.