Just Transition Commission: member profiles

Detailed profiles for the members of Just Transition Commission.

Professor Jim Skea (Chair)

Professor Skea was appointed Chair of the Just Transition Commission in September 2018. He has particular research interests in energy, climate change and technological innovation. He is Co-Chair of Working Group III (Mitigation) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was the Scottish Champion of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change until December 2018. Between 2012 to 2017 he was UK Research Councils Energy Strategy Fellow.

He is internationally recognised as a leading climate scientist. In 2004 he was awarded an OBE for services to sustainable transport and in 2013 he was awarded a CBE for services to sustainable energy.

Tom Shields

Tom is CEO of Spring Rise, a consultancy providing support to chemical processing, waste recycling and renewable energy industries. He was previously the Managing Director of KemFine UK Ltd., a speciality chemicals business, and served as the Chairman of the Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley Board. 

He currently sits on the UK Government's Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage Council and is acting chair of the Chemical Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group.

Professor Karen Turner

Karen is founding Director of the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy. The Centre conducts internationally leading research on the public policy challenges of decarbonising our economy. Her work focuses on understanding how a just transition may be delivered, and addresses key questions about distributional effects, employment and GDP.

Karen has a number of advisory roles with national and international policy bodies , She has contributed to the CCUS Cost Challenge Taskforce, has a leading role on the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s inquiry on ‘Scotland’s Energy Future’, leads the ‘Energy, People and Society’ theme across the Scottish Energy Technology Partnership, was a co-author on the European Zero Emissions Platform report ‘Role of CCUS in a Below 2 Degrees Scenario’. She is currently principal investigator on a National Centre for Energy Systems Integration flexible fund project and was previously one of six ESRC UK Climate Change Leadership Fellows.

Note – due to unavoidable personal circumstances, Professor Turner has taken a leave of absence from the Commission’s work between May – August

Charlotte Hartley, representing the 2050 Climate Group

Charlotte is a Trustee of the Board at 2050 Climate Group. 2050 Climate Group engages, educates and empowers Scotland’s young people to take action on climate change. The group’s ambition is to start a social movement of passionate, active young people who are equipped with climate change knowledge and leadership skills so that our generation can lead the way to a sustainable, low carbon society. Based in Aberdeen, Charlotte leads the Group’s engagement with the oil and gas industry. 

Charlotte works for Pale Blue Dot Energy, the project developer of the Acorn Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and Hydrogen projects in Aberdeenshire. Charlotte also sits on the committee for the Energy Institute Young Professionals Network in Aberdeen. 

Norman Kerr OBE

Norman became Director of Energy Action Scotland in April 2005, having previously been Development Manager and Deputy Director since 1996.  Prior to this he worked with Heatwise Glasgow for 12 years as Production Unit Manager delivering the organisation’s energy efficiency programmes.

Norman is Deputy Chair of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel and the Scottish Fuel Poverty Partnership Forum having previously been Deputy Chair of the Scottish Fuel Poverty Forum and a member of the Scottish Rural Fuel Poverty Task Force and the Scottish Fuel Poverty Strategic Working Group.  

He is a trustee of the Aberdeen Combined Heat and Power Company and a member of the NEA Executive. He is currently on the stakeholder engagement groups for both Distribution Network Operator companies in Scotland and is a member of SGN’s Consumer Engagement Group. 

Norman was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2016 for services to the Children’s Hearing System in Scotland and for voluntary and charitable work in Glasgow. Norman served 32 years in the Children’s Hearing system as a volunteer holding a number of posts at local and national levels before stepping down in June 2016.

Richard Hardy, representing Prospect Union

Richard is the National Secretary for Scotland and Ireland at the trade union Prospect, representing members in Government, Energy, Defence, Nuclear and Heritage Sectors. 

Richard is an experienced Senior Trade Union Official with a demonstrated history of working across a variety of employment sectors. He is skilled in Collective Bargaining, Politics, Government and Organisational Development. A strong business development professional with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) focused in Modern History from the Queen Mary University. 

Richard was previously a Negotiations Officer with Prospect for 16.5 years and has worked in nearly every sector of Prospect across the UK. Richard has been based in the Edinburgh office for the past 4.5 years and has worked with various branches during that time.

Rachel McEwen

Rachel joined SSE in 2007 and, as Chief Sustainability Officer, is responsible for its sustainability strategy, climate change policy, community funds and corporate heritage. She is a non-executive director of Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, the SSE subsidiary that owns and operates the electricity distribution and transmission networks in the north of Scotland.  

External to SSE, Rachel was Chair of the Leadership Group of Living Wage Scotland between 2014 and 2018 and recently joined the board of the Fair Tax Mark.  She graduated in 2009 from St Andrews University with a Master of Literature in International Political Thought, with a first degree in 1993 in Applied Economics from the University of Abertay, Dundee.

Colette Cohen

Colette became the Chief Executive Officer of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre in August 2016. The Oil & Gas Technology Centre is a new industry-led organisation based in Aberdeen, backed by the UK and Scottish governments, and working closely with the local universities. The centre has two goals: to help maximise economic recovery from the UK continental shelf and create a bright future for the northeast of Scotland as a global technology hub.

Colette was Senior Vice President for Centrica Energy’s Exploration and Production business in the UK and the Netherlands until July 2016. Her career began with BP in 1991 and she has worked for companies including ConocoPhillips and Britannia in the North Sea, Norway, the US and Kazakhstan. 

Colette is a chemistry graduate from Queens University Belfast and also holds a masters degree in Project Management and Economics. She is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Institute of Directors and Chairs the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas. 

Lang Banks, representing WWF

One of Scotland’s leading environmentalists, Lang Banks has worked for global conservation organisation WWF for over a decade and has been integral in their work addressing issues relating to climate change, clean energy, and marine protection. Lang was appointed Director of WWF Scotland in 2013 and is a key player in WWF’s UK and international network where he advises on communications and campaigns. A biologist by study, his interest in the natural world stems from childhood and has led to him becoming an influential and dedicated environmentalist.

During his time at WWF he has successfully spearheaded multi-year public campaigns to help deliver the world’s strongest piece of climate legislation and halt plans for a new coal-fired power station. Lang regularly Tweets and blogs about these and other subjects. You can follow him at: @LangBanks

Dave Moxham, representing STUC

Dave Moxham is the Deputy General Secretary of the Scottish TUC. Dave joined the STUC in 2004 as a Research Assistant, became an Assistant Secretary and was latterly appointed Deputy General Secretary in 2009.

Dave was formerly a Councillor with Glasgow City Council.

As STUC Deputy General Secretary, Dave has policy responsibility for the public sector and voluntary sectors, employment rights, energy and climate change, civil justice and courts reform.

Dave is a board member of the Scottish Poverty Alliance and co-chair of the Scottish Living Wage campaign; he has served on a range of Scottish Government working groups, most recently the Disability Employment Action Plan: Expert Advisory Group.

Kate Rowell

Kate Rowell is Chair of Quality Meat Scotland, a non-departmental public body representing the Scottish Red Meat Industry and funded by levy collected from farmers and processors. She has been on the Board of the organisation for 4 years and took the Chair in October 2018.

Kate is also a livestock farmer and fully qualified veterinary surgeon, running an 750 hectare upland farm in the Scottish Borders in partnership with her husband. She has a keen interest in sustainable farming and in promoting the environmental and social benefits of maintaining and developing family farms across Scotland. 

Professor Mike Danson

Mike has varied research interests including regional economic development, regional development agencies, enterprise development, microbreweries, basic income, early-onset dementia, and community ownership and management of land and other resources.

Since 1997, he has authored over 250 research papers many published in international scientific journals and books. His research work is frequently presented at international conferences.

Current research includes collaborative projects on the economic impacts of Gaelic and Faroese; assessment of the social and economic development of community buy-out areas; and different aspects of sustainable economic development across peripheral, marginal and island regions in northern Europe.



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