Visiting Parliamentary Fellowship
We are delighted to announce that The Right Honourable Chris Skidmore OBE and Alex Sobel MP will St Antony’s Visiting Parliamentary Fellows for the 2023-34 academic year. Thomas Hale, Professor of Global Public Policy at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government and Governing Body Fellow of St Antony’s College, will be coordinating the seminar series.
Chris Skidmore was Minister of State jointly at the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from September 2019 to February 2020, where he signed the UK’s Net Zero targets into legislation. He is Chair of the Independent Government Review on Net Zero, “Mission Zero”, which was published in January 2023, and urged the UK to seize a historic opportunity afforded by the transition to Net Zero.
Prior to this, he was Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care in 2019, Minister of State jointly at the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from December 2018 to July 2019, and Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office from July 2016 to January 2018. He was elected Conservative MP for Kingswood in May 2010.
Alex Sobel served as Shadow Minister of Nature Recovery and the Domestic Environment. In 2020 he was appointed as the shadow minister for Tourism and Heritage and was responsible for developing Labour’s domestic tourism policies.
In 2019 he set up the Net Zero All-Party Parliamentary Group to help secure a low-carbon and clean industrial and economic future for the UK, embed zero-carbon solutions, and accelerate net zero growth, innovation, and global influence. His background is in the social enterprise sector which is reflected in his work as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Enterprise. He was elected Labour MP for Leeds North West in June 2017.
Thomas Hale, Professor of Global Public Policy at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government and Fellow of St Antony’s College, will be coordinating the seminar series. Thomas co-leads the Net Zero Tracker.
St Antony’s Visiting Parliamentary Fellowship was launched in 1993 with the idea that two Members of Parliament – one from the governing party and the other from one of the main opposition parties – would be elected to the Fellowship each year. The hope, which has been fully realised, was that they would visit the College regularly and in one term help to organise a seminar on important political and other matters.
Events Schedule 2023/2024
Launch Event, Monday 4th December, 2023: “A common climate? Can different parties work together on the climate challenge in an era of polarization?”
- This special launch event at COP28 will engage with the core themes of the series: how can different parties find ways to support ambitious climate policies? What are the outcomes and policy proposals that can build broad, winning coalitions? How do we converge around them?
Session 1, Tuesday 6th February, 2024: “Building support for climate at the ballot box”
- Looking across countries, when have political leaders been successful at mobilizing voter support for ambitious climate policy? What are the narratives and approaches that build durable support for the benefits for the transition, while addressing the challenges it brings?
Session 2, Tuesday 7th May, 2024: “Moving and building: local government and the climate challenge”
- Local governments are at the core of two of the UK’s biggest climate challenges: transportation and buildings and infrastructure. How can the UK both improve and green transport so that we can all get around more easily while meeting our climate targets? At the same time, we know that addressing climate change requires rapid infrastructure development. But many studies show that building in the UK is slower and more expensive than in other countries. How do we build what we need without losing what is important? What can local leaders do to deliver on these imperatives, and what support do they need for national government to be successful?
Session 3, Tuesday 21st May, 2024: “A green and pleasant land for nature, food, energy, and people”
- Delivering net zero requires restoring the UK’s natural environment, as does meeting critical biodiversity targets. But the UK’s limited territory also faces acute demand for food production, housing, and energy. How do we balance these objectives?
Session 4, Date & Time TBD, 2024: “UK industry in a green future: domestic and international priorities”
- How can the UK secure its place in the new green economy while ensuring a just transition for those whose work or communities depend on fossil fuels? As many economies turn to new forms of industrial policy, what is working and what is not? What international policy changes are needed to navigate this transition?
Forthcoming Visiting Parliamentary Fellowship Events
Moving and building: local government and the climate challenge
Speaker: Mr Alex Sobel (MP), Mr Chris Skidmore (MP 2010-2024), Dr Thomas Hale
Date & Time: May 7, 2024, 5:30 pm
A green and pleasant land for nature, food, energy, and people
Speaker: Mr Chris Skidmore (MP 2010-2024), Mr Alex Sobel (MP), Dr Thomas Hale
Date & Time: May 21, 2024, 5:30 pm