WHO WE ARE

LCEF is powered by people who want to see a fair and equitable transition to a zero pollution, zero waste, naturally thriving world

LCEF is currently run by its Director with support from a growing team.

The board of trustees is made up of people from across the movement and has the aim to set the long-term strategic direction of the organisation and ensure its operation is conducted with robust governance.


The advisory group represents a wide cross-section of the labour, climate and environment sections and provides tactical advice to the organisation.

Staff

Paul McNamee

Director

Paul has thirteen years of experience working in the political and environmental sphere. Most recently he worked in the Mayor’s Office at the Greater London Authority, advising on environment and energy, covering the Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion and the Mayor’s presence at COP27.

Before that he was head of politics at environmental think tank Green Alliance and on the public affairs team of international conservation charity RSPB. He started his career working for a number of Labour MPs at Westminster, including Kerry McCarthy and Ben Bradshaw.

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Megan Corton Scott

Deputy Director

Megan has many years of professional experience in the labour and climate movement, and most recently worked in the politics team at Greenpeace UK, covering campaigns including the Global Plastics Treaty, sewage, and the electoral salience of climate policies.

Prior to this, she worked for a Labour led local authority and prior to that, for a Labour MEP in Brussels. She started her political career working for Progress (now Progressive Britain).

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Patrick Geddis

Programme Manager (Climate Planning)

Patrick focuses on net zero infrastructure and the planning system. Previously he has worked in consultancy at the Centre for Progressive Policy, where he focused on energy and net zero, and for Labour MP James Murray in Westminster. He is originally from Northern Ireland and attended Queen's University Belfast and King's College London.

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Ruairidh Macintosh

Senior Advisor

Ruairidh focuses on the policy and politics of Net Zero. Outside of LCEF, he works with FTSE100 companies on what it will take to accelerate the transition and was previously a special advisor to the UN Climate Change High Level Champions. He has particular experience on public opinion and political strategy, both on climate change and more widely. Ruairidh is also a Fellow with Labour Together.

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Alex Chitty

Senior Programme Officer

Alex came to LCEF from the Movement Building team at RSPB where she worked on their Attack on Nature campaign, and the multi-organisational Save our Wild Isles campaign, and as a national organiser for volunteer campaigners. She previously worked for Labour MP Wes Streeting, in Westminster and in his constituency office. She holds a BA in Politics and Parliamentary Studies from the University of Leeds.

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Trustees

Baroness Young of Old Scone

Barbara is a Member of the House of Lords, has been Chairman of the Woodland Trust since 2016 and was appointed the Chairman of Council at the Royal Veterinary College in July 2019. Her other voluntary positions include Honorary President of the South Georgia Heritage Trust; Patron of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Management; and Vice President of RSPB, Bird Life International and Flora and Fauna International.

She has formerly held a variety of environmental leadership roles, including Chief Executive of RSPB, Chairman of English Nature and Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.Baroness Young began her career in health service management in teaching districts in Scotland and London.  She was also founder chair of the Care Quality Commission and Chief Executive of Diabetes UK and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017.

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Carwyn Jones

Professor Rt. Hon. Carwyn Jones is a former First Minister of Wales, a role he held between 2009 and 2018. He left the Welsh Parliament in 2021 after representing the Bridgend constituency for twenty-two years which included eighteen consecutive years in government. Before politics he practised at the Bar for ten years and was a Professional Tutor on the Bar Vocational Course at Cardiff University. He is now a Professor at Aberystwyth University with a strong interest in constitutional law. He is also Bencher at Gray’s Inn.

Since leaving politics he has also been involved in broadcasting and business consultancy and is also involved with a number of charities. His autobiography was published in 2020.

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Kate Bell

Kate Bell is Head of the Rights, International, Social and Economics department which leads the TUC's work on boosting employment rights, promoting social and economic policies that benefit working people, and building international solidarity.

Before joining the TUC, Kate worked as Head of Policy and Public Affairs for a local authority, for the Labour Party, and for the charities Child Poverty Action Group and Gingerbread. Kate is also a member of the Low Pay Commission, representing workers.

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Cllr Rishi Midlani

Rishi has worked in Climate and Sustainability for 14 years, primarily in financial services. He was previously Head of Climate and Sustainable Finance at NatWest Group focused on supporting customers transition to a lower carbon economy. He also serves as an elected ward Councillor and is chair of the Camden Pensions Committee. The fund is a Local Government Pension Scheme and won a LAPF Award for its innovative approach to ESG. He is also Shareholder Chair of the LCIV pool, representing around £45bn of Local Government Pensions.

In his voluntary work, Rishi is elected to the board of the UK Sustainable Investment & Finance Association, helping to drive Responsible Investment, on the board of UK100, supporting local climate action, and is an Emeritus Governor of the London School of Economics & Political Sciences.

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Tobias Garnett

Tobias is a political advisor on climate and energy policy at the Labour Party. He joined Keir Starmer's leadership campaign after a fellowship at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he focussed on the politics of the energy transition. Before moving into climate and energy policy, Tobias was a human rights lawyer, and was made the Law Society's Human Rights Lawyer of the Year for his work to get journalists out of jail in Turkey.

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Kirsty McNeill

Kirsty is an executive director at one of the world’s biggest children’s charities, supporting families across the four nations of the UK and leading teams delivering award-winning policy, advocacy, campaigns and media.

Previously, she founded a consultancy advising social purpose organisations and spent three years as a Special Adviser to Gordon Brown in Number 10. She came to Downing Street from DATA, leading the policy and influencing work of Bono and Bob Geldof’s advocacy organisation. Before joining DATA she served on the steering group of Make Poverty History.

Today she chairs the Civic Power Fund, Larger Us and the Aid Alliance and serves as a non-exec director on the boards of the Climate Coalition, the Coalition for Global Prosperity, the Center for Countering Digital Hate, IPPR, and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

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Advisory Group

Steve Akehurst

Steve is Global Strategic Communications Council's Lead on Insight and Messaging, where he focuses on creating communications strategies which push climate up the agenda internationally. He previously worked on strategic communications in the Cabinet Office, and headed Shelter UK's campaigns and publics affairs teams.

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Polly Billington

Polly Billington is Labour's candidate to be the MP for the new seat of East Thanet. She is an award-winning environmental campaigner, establishing the local government climate network UK100 in 2016. She worked as a special adviser in the last Labour government in the Department for Energy and Climate Change and was a key figure in Ed Miliband's leadership campaign team. After fighting a tough 3 way in Thurrock in the General Election in 2015, beating UKIP into 3rd place, she was Director of Communications for Sadiq Khan in his campaign to be Labour's London mayoral candidate. Before politics, Polly spent 15 years at the BBC as a journalist including 3 years as a reporter on the Today programme as well as being the first ever dedicated political correspondent for Radio 1's Newsbeat. She is currently a councillor in Hackney, where she lives with her wife and cat.

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Simon Coop

Simon is Energy lead at Unite the Union.

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Kate Dearden

Kate is Head of Research, Policy and External Relations at Community trade union and leads on the union's political work. Before joining Community, Kate worked on election campaigns for the Labour party across the country. Kate is passionate about women’s rights and representation and sits as a national executive committee member on Labour Women’s Network. Kate is also a Trustee of Unions21, a trade union representative on Labour’s National Policy Forum, and United Against Malnutrition and Hunger board member.

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Ryan Jude

Ryan is a green finance and environmental policy expert. He is a Programme Director at the Green Finance Institute, where over the last few years he has led advisory work on implementing a UK Green Taxonomy, running the secretariat for the expert group advising His Majesty's Treasury and other UK Government departments on this regulation. He also previously led the Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce at the Institute, and helped set up the Local Climate Bond Campaign. Ryan’s other work currently focuses on advising the UK Government on standards for sustainable agriculture and fisheries, working with leading local councils on financing their transition, and other projects focussed on the green economy and greening finance, among other areas. Ryan is also a Labour Party Councillor for the City of Westminster, where he has served as the Deputy Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Biodiversity since being elected as one of the first ever Labour Councillors in Lancaster Gate ward in 2022, when Labour won the council for the first time in history. Ryan’s focus is on embedding the climate emergency in everything the council does, as set out in the Green New Deal for Westminster policy document, which he co-wrote during the campaign, and ensuring the ecological emergency is also acted upon locally. Ryan also served as member of the Future of Westminster Commission Energy and Green Transition Review group, an expert group set up to advise the council on its priority areas. In his voluntary work, Ryan sits on the Board of Trustees for Stockport Advocacy, a Community Benefits Society that provides advocacy for marginalised or vulnerable people in Stockport.

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Uma Kumaran

Uma is the Head of Diplomacy in the C40 Cities Chair’s Office and is part of the Political Strategy and Leadership team.  Prior to joining C40 in 2022, Uma was Deputy Director of Parliamentary Affairs for the Leader of the Opposition in the UK and is experienced in high-level political advisory, having worked in Government and as Senior Advisor to the current Mayor of London. She has also led national political campaigns including for general and local elections.

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Hannah Martin

Hannah is an organiser and campaigner. She has organised with Greenpeace UK leading their energy and climate team, the UK anti fracking movement, and in 2019 supported the Youth Strikes for Climate to mobilise including organising the largest climate protest in UK history through the September Climate Strikes.  She founded and is the Co Director of Green New Deal Rising, a movement built to win policies that secure climate justice and a Green New Deal. Before working as a campaigner she had a career in the children’s services sector, set up a successful social enterprise and worked with young people in her home city of Wakefield.

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Luke Murphy

Luke heads IPPR’s Fair Transition Unit and leads the energy, climate, housing and infrastructure team. Before joining IPPR in 2016, Luke worked in parliament, the voluntary sector and the private sector. Luke has worked for the Labour party as a policy and political adviser for a shadow secretary of state and successive shadow housing ministers leading their work on housing, also working on local government and devolution. He has worked on policy and advocacy projects for the Living Wage Foundation and a leading housing association. Luke also has significant experience in communications and campaigning. Luke holds an MSc in international politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and a BSc in politics and economics from the University of Bath.

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Melanie Onn

Melanie is a freelance advisor and the Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Cleethorpes. She previously served as Labour MP for Great Grimsby from 2015 to 2019. She served as Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons from September 2015 to June 2016 and Shadow Minister for Housing from July 2017 to March 2019.

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Ayeisha Thomas-Smith

Ayeisha is Executive Director of Strategy and Fundraising at NEON. She is currently doing a PhD at Goldsmiths University of London looking at neoliberalism and social justice work, and in 2017 co-founded KIN, a network for black activists working for collective liberation. Ayeisha presents NEF’s Weekly Economics Podcast, Economics with Subtitles for BBC R4 and The Why Factor for BBC World Service.

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