University of Hull duo handed roles on new Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission

Two leading experts in low carbon energy from the University of Hull and Aura have been given roles on the new Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission.

Sarah Clark, Operations Manager at Aura, and Professor Dan Parsons, Director at the University’s Energy & Environment Institute.
Sarah Clark, Operations Manager at Aura, and Professor Dan Parsons, Director at the University’s Energy & Environment Institute.

Sarah Clark, Operations Manager at Aura, and Professor Dan Parsons, Director at the University’s Energy & Environment Institute, will share their knowledge and experience of the Humber’s transition to Net Zero with the new partnership.

The Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission will bring together representatives from the private, public and civic sectors to tackle the climate crisis, making it the biggest regional climate commission in the UK.

The Commission’s focus will be on reducing carbon emissions as quickly as possible, and ensuring people in Yorkshire are prepared to cope with the impacts of climate change, such as flooding, heatwaves and sea level rise.

Sarah Clark has been appointed as a Commissioner at the new organisation.

She said: “I am delighted to have been chosen as a Commissioner for the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission. 

“As Operations Manager for Aura with the responsibility for the Aura Innovation Centre (AIC), I decided to apply for the role of Commissioner as the purpose of the AIC fits well with the Commission’s aims and objectives.  

“The main aim of the AIC is to bring together stakeholders to facilitate collaboration for SMEs to accelerate innovation in the low carbon space. It’s about bringing the power of the University’s researchers together with the expertise of business.

“Utilising my current position, and past experience, I have good knowledge and connections to help build the Humber’s capacity for tackling the effects of climate change. 

“I can provide insight and knowledge with regard to the progress the region’s small and medium size enterprises are making around innovation in low carbon.”  

Commissioners will make up the main body of the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission. They will make key decisions for the Commission, steer its work, and help to link its activities to networks and organisations within their areas of expertise.

As Aura Operations Manager at the University of Hull, Sarah runs the Aura Innovation Centre, supporting the development of the low carbon SME supply chain, providing access to innovation support, enabling collaboration and knowledge exchange. 

She is a project management professional and former business owner with over 25 years’ experience managing complex publicly funded programmes in support of businesses.

Sarah is joined at the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission by Prof. Parsons, who will sit on the Science Panel at YHCC.

Prof. Parsons said: “I am delighted to take on this role on the Science Panel as part of the YHCC. 

“The University of Hull has a leadership position in the transition to a low carbon future, both in terms of our teaching and research as well as our own ambitious commitments as a University to reach a NetZero position by 2027. I am excited to be contributing to the broader Yorkshire and Humber journey to a future low carbon society. 

“We are leading on a range of important low carbon research projects, from producing the next generation of low carbon heating and cooling systems to our work with Hull City Council on a full-scale, low carbon house demonstrator.

“Hull is lighting the path to a low carbon future and I will take this expertise and ensure it is embedded into and helps drive the YHCC work plans and outcomes.”

The YHCC will stand as an independent partnership, which will promote sustainability by supporting climate actions that also protect nature and biodiversity.

It has been developed with the support of the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Northern Powergrid, Northern Gas Networks, the TUC, Yorkshire Universities and the University of Leeds. 

The names of the Chair, three Vice-Chairs, a Director and 25 Commissioners have been released today by the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, demonstrating a wealth of experience in climate leadership from a variety of sectors.

Liz Barber, CEO of Yorkshire Water, has been appointed as Chair of the Commission – in recognition of her significant experience in environmental leadership. 

She said: “I’m thrilled to be taking on this role and it is great to be able to play a part in bringing the region together to tackle the climate crisis in a just and fair way. 

“The formation of the Commission is timely as the UK is about to host the international climate conference COP26 and this will be an excellent platform to demonstrate what Yorkshire is already doing and to formulate plans to take that further.”

To keep updated about the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, visit its website at www.yorksandhumberclimate.org.uk and follow on Twitter @YHClimateCom

[Phil Winter – University of Hull]

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