A new Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change has been established to provide technical expertise to help the city to understand and accelerate progress towards its ambition to be a carbon neutral and climate resilient city by 2030.

As a key part of the city’s response to the climate emergency, the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, invited two of the city’s leading academic climate experts to co-chair the Committee: Professor James Longhurst at the University of the West of England, Bristol and Dr Jo House at the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute.

The Committee will provide technical advice on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation measures to all six ‘One City’ thematic boards, which cover the areas of economy, environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing, homes and communities, learning and skills, and transport and connectivity. The Committee is also empowered to undertake analysis on its own initiative.

Almost 40 experts came forward through an open expressions of interest process to become members of the Committee. The co-chairs have invited an additional 23 members to join them across a range of areas of specialism. A Register of Experts will enable the Committee to draw on knowledge from beyond its members.

The Committee will provide advice on the city’s climate change response and all aspects of the One City Plan given the cross-cutting nature of greenhouse gas emissions. The co-chairs said: “In recognition of the urgency of the climate emergency, The Committee will work as rapidly as possible to provide targeted advice and recommendations to help the city achieve its carbon neutral and climate resilient goals.”

Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change said: “We recently recommended the UK becomes ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050 and that advice has now been written into UK law. In order to deliver net zero, action will be needed right across the UK, and we see a vital role for city-level initiatives. We support Bristol’s innovative governance approach and urgency, and we look forward to working with Bristol’s new Advisory Committee on Climate Change and counterparts across the UK to address the critical challenge of delivering net zero, and making the most of the opportunities ahead.”

The members of the Bristol Advisory Committee on Climate Change listed below will meet for the first time in mid-October. An initial workshop was held on 27 September 2019 to gather inputs for the Committee’s terms of reference, ways of working and priorities. All those who expressed interest in the Committee and the Register of Experts were invited to participate.

Bristol Green Capital Partnership has worked closely with the Committee’s co-chairs, the City Office and Bristol City Council’s sustainability team on the expressions and appointment process and will be providing secretariat services to the Committee in future.

Bristol City Council are leading on the development of a ‘One City’ climate strategy (details forthcoming), and businesses or organisations that would like to be more involved are invited to join Bristol Green Capital Partnership, register as a member contact or sign up for newsletters. For more on the One City Plan contact the City Office.

Further information

For press enquiries please contact Jo House and Jim Longhurst via environment@bristolonecity.com

More information about the co-chairs:

  • Professor Jim Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor Environment and Sustainability: staff profile
  • Dr Jo House: Research Lead, Global Environmental Change theme, Cabot Institute of the Environment, Director ‘Climate Change Science and Policy’ Masters Programme


Advisory Committee members

Member name Business or organisation (where applicable)
Jo House (co-chair) University of Bristol, Cabot Institute
Jim Longhurst (co-chair) University of the West of England, Bristol
Alasdair Cameron
Alix Dietzel
Ben Smith
Bill Gething
Catherine Pettengell
Charlie Makin
David Tudgey
Emma Jolly
James Peet
Josh Bullard
Joshua Thumim
Laura de Vito
Liz Parkes
Lorraine Whitmarsh
Matthew Wood
Natalie Fee
Natalie Francis
Ola Michalec
Robert Rawlinson-Smith
Sam Willitts
Simeran Bachra
Simon Proctor
William Clayton