Today (19 July), the Aldersgate Group has announced the appointment of former Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, as its new Chair.
She will take over from former Labour MP Joan Walley, who has chaired the Aldersgate Group for the last six years.
Theresa May will support the Group’s ongoing work on the delivery of the UK’s net zero emissions and nature restoration targets and ensure the UK can build a globally thriving green economy in the process.
The appointment comes as the Aldersgate Group welcomes new business members from the facilities, retail, water, legal and energy sectors, and is involved in three major projects on green finance, resources and waste, and industrial decarbonisation.
The Aldersgate Group says the appointment is a ‘landmark moment’ for the Group, whose members include leading businesses, NGOs, professional institutes, and academic institutions.
“The former Prime Minister and MP for Maidenhead will bring immense leadership to the role and a commitment to driving action for an environmentally sustainable, net zero emissions and competitive economy,” it said.
As Prime Minister, Theresa May enacted the UK’s landmark commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, making the UK the first major economy to enshrine this target in law. She also oversaw the publication of the Clean Growth Strategy and the decision to end unabated coal-fired electricity generation in the UK by 2025, both of which are helping accelerate emission cuts in the power sector and driving the growth of renewable generation such as wind and solar.
As Prime Minister, I was proud to lead the UK to be the first major economy to enshrine the net-zero emissions target into law and publish a strategy to overturn the decline in nature within a generation. It is vital we now accelerate our progress towards these ambitious targets and develop clear delivery plans
On the environment, her Government published the 25 Year Environment Plan, which provided a framework to protect and restore the natural world within a generation, a vision which is now in the process of being enshrined in the Environment Bill currently going through Parliament.
Theresa May will assume her role on 20 July 2021. She will be handed the baton by current chair, former Labour MP Joan Walley, who has completed a two-term period of office and been an asset for the Group since 2015.
The Group is working on three major projects ahead of the crucial COP26 climate summit, focused on the future of green finance, resources and waste, and accelerating the decarbonisation of heavy industry.
Theresa May, incoming Chair of the Aldersgate Group and MP for Maidenhead, said: “I am joining the Aldersgate Group to champion the business case for decarbonising the UK economy, improving resource efficiency, and investing in the restoration of nature because we are at a crucial crossroad for our climate and the environment.
“As Prime Minister, I was proud to lead the UK to be the first major economy to enshrine the net-zero emissions target into law and publish a strategy to overturn the decline in nature within a generation. It is vital we now accelerate our progress towards these ambitious targets and develop clear delivery plans.”
Joan Walley, outgoing Chair of the Aldersgate Group, said: “It’s been a privilege to lead the Aldersgate Group as Chair for the last six years. I am proud of the contribution we have made on setting the zero carbon and nature recovery agenda.
“I am delighted to leave a legacy that puts the organisation in a strong position, with membership at its highest since the Group was formed and exciting new reports on key policy areas on the horizon.
“I have no doubt that under Theresa May’s leadership, the Group will go from strength to strength and play a key role in leading the conversation on climate and the environment and driving ambitious policy in the critical years to come.”