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The Road to Net Zero: how to seize opportunities and manage change | LSE Festival

Hosted by LSE Festival: People and Change

In-person and online public event (MAR 2.04, Marshall Building)


Dr Liam F Beiser-McGrath

Dr Liam F Beiser-McGrath

Chris Skidmore

Chris Skidmore

Rain Newton-Smith

Rain Newton-Smith

Dr Anna Valero

Dr Anna Valero


Professor Elizabeth Robinson

Professor Elizabeth Robinson

Tackling climate change requires significant and rapid economic and societal change.

As new ways to power our homes, workplaces and transport are developed there will be opportunities for sustainable, healthier economic growth. But there will also be costs for firms, workers and households. To date, climate action has faced challenges from the people, through protests and failed referenda, but has also been driven by public support and activism.

How we can ensure the net zero transition is an inclusive one, so that crucial public support can be maintained and built?  

Meet our speakers and chair

Liam F Beiser-McGrath (@lfbeisermcgrath) is Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy in the Department of Social Policy at LSE. They are also the organiser of EPG Online, an online seminar series covering Environmental Politics and Governance. Their research primarily focuses on the political economy of climate change, using experimental research designs and machine learning. Current research projects focus on: i) the impact of energy insecurity upon climate, energy, and social policy preferences, ii) how economic insecurity and employment risks affect environmental concern, and iii) public support for carbon pricing schemes.  

Chris Skidmore (@CSkidmoreUK) has been the MP for Kingswood since 2010. He has 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 also 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. Most recently, he served as the Chair of the Government’s Independent Net Zero Review, and published the 340 page ‘Mission Zero’ report in January 2023. 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.

Rain Newton-Smith (@RainNewtonSmith) is the Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Before taking up the role, she was Managing Director, Strategy and Policy, Sustainability and ESG at Barclays. Previously she was chief economist at the CBI, representing British businesses focusing on the UK economic outlook and climate change. She has also worked as head of emerging markets at Oxford Economics where she managed a large team of economists and was the lead expert on China. Earlier, she lead teams at the Bank of England including the international forecast team for the Monetary Policy Committee and a team with responsibility for developing a risk assessment framework for the UK financial system.

Anna Valero (@asvalero) is Distinguished Policy Fellow at LSE's Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), Deputy Director of the Programme on Innovation and Diffusion (POID) and an Associate of the Grantham Research Institute. Her research is focused on the drivers of productivity and innovation, and realising opportunities for sustainable and inclusive growth in the Net Zero Transition. Anna is a member of the Steering Group of the Resolution Foundation-CEP Economy 2030 Inquiry, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. She has held a number of advisory roles for the UK government, and is currently a member of the Economic Advisory Council which advises the Chancellor of the Exchequer on economic policy to help grow the economy and the Green Jobs Delivery group

Elizabeth Robinson (@EJZRobinson66) is Director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE. She is an environmental economist whose research focuses on climate change and health, oriented particularly around food security and food systems, and the health co-benefits of mitigation. From 2004 to 2009 she was coordinating lead author for the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, sub-Saharan Africa. She was on the UK Defra Economic Advisory Panel for five years; and from 2019 to 2020, Specialist Advisor to the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health, and Environment. She is currently Working Group 1 lead for the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. 

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: People and Change running from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 June 2023, with a series of events exploring how change affects people and how people effect change. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 15 May. 

The Centre for Economic Performance (@CEP_LSE) carries out policy-focused research on the causes of economic growth and effective ways to create a fair, inclusive and sustainable society.

The Department of Social Policy (@LSESocialPolicy) provides top quality international and multidisciplinary research and teaching on social and public policy challenges facing countries across the world. From its foundation in 1912 it has carried out cutting edge research on core social problems and helped to develop policy solutions.

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival  

Podcast and video

A podcast of this event is available to download from The Road to Net Zero: how to seize opportunities and manage change.

A video of this event is available to watch at The Road to Net Zero: how to seize opportunities and manage change.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.