Author of the Independent Government Review of Net Zero, The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore OBE MP, is becoming a Professor of Practice at the University of Bath, one of GW4's member universities, focusing on Net Zero Policy.
Chris Skidmore has held a number of ministerial positions and was twice Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation from 2018-19 and then 2019-2020, where he signed the UK’s Net Zero targets into legislation.
He is widely known as the Chair of the Independent Government Review on Net Zero, “Mission Zero”, which was published in January 2023 and which urged the UK to seize an “historic opportunity” afforded by the transition to Net Zero. The report made 129 recommendations to allow net zero to be achieved. These included using infrastructure to unlock net zero, creating sustainable governance structures, and building cleaner, cheaper and greener homes.
Chris has since launched the Mission Zero Coalition, which aims 'to bring together sectors and communities to establish four Mission Zero Networks that will work on missions outlined in the Net Zero Review'. The Mission Zero networks will include a Local Mission Zero Network, an Industrial Mission Zero Network, a Buildings Mission Zero Network and a Solar Mission Zero Network.
As a Professor of Practice, he will join a community of academics working at Bath on the closely linked challenges of sustainability and climate change, including within the Institute of Policy Research, Institute for Sustainability and the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations. He brings a wealth of experience that he will use to contribute to Bath’s leading work in these areas. Chris will be speaking at the Institute for Sustainability’s Summer Showcase on 12 June at the University’s Claverton Down campus in Bath.
Chris Skidmore said: "I am delighted to have been appointed a Professor of Practice at Bath University, where I will be focusing on sustainability and net zero policy. I announced in November that I would be standing down as a MP at the next election, in order to focus on net zero and the energy transition. I am pleased to have been given this opportunity to work alongside some leading academic practitioners, both in sustainability and the sciences, who are working on new technologies and materials to deliver on net zero, as well as Bath University playing a key role in the Western Gateway and the GW4 Alliance of Universities who have done so much to lead on climate change policy.
“Since the publication of the Net Zero Review, Mission Zero, I have continued my engagement with the energy and climate communities across the UK, having established the Mission Zero Coalition, looking at decarbonising buildings and industry, as well as enhancing the role of local government, and I hope that my Professorship at Bath University can continue to deepen this research and deliver on future net zero policy making."
Prof Sarah Hainsworth, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Bath and GW4 Board member, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Professor Skidmore to the University as Professor of Practice, focusing on Net Zero Policy. Chris brings not only superb experience in policy development and implementation, but also real insight into the detail of how the UK can best seize the opportunities of getting to Net Zero.”
Prof Skidmore has been the MP for Kingswood in Bristol and South Gloucestershire since 2010, currently chairs the Environment All Party Parliamentary Group, and is a member of the Conservative Environment Network.
He grew up in Longwell Green and earned an undergraduate degree and then a doctorate in modern British history at the University of Oxford. Alongside his political career he has written several books on British history, including one on Richard III. A fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Royal Historical Society and Society of Antiquaries of London, Prof Skidmore was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council in 2019 and appointed OBE in 2022 for parliamentary and public service.
I am pleased to have been given this opportunity to work alongside some leading academic practitioners, both in sustainability and the sciences, who are working on new technologies and materials to deliver on net zero, as well as Bath University playing a key role in the Western Gateway and the GW4 Alliance of Universities who have done so much to lead on climate change policy.