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Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change

First published:
6 February 2023
Last updated:

The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru Cooperation Agreement (2021)[1] committed to “commission independent advice to examine potential pathways to net zero by 2035 – the current target date is 2050. This will look at the impact on society and sectors of our economy and how any adverse effects may be mitigated, including how the costs and benefits are shared fairly”.

Following discussions with Sian Gwenllian MS, I had informed the Senedd that Dr. Jane Davidson has kindly agreed to Chair the work.

I am now able to inform the Senedd that the Net Zero Challenge Group has been created and held its first meeting on Wednesday 11 January.  Fourteen technical experts have joined the Group, selected from academia, public and private institutions, with expertise across all key sectors of our economy. They are joined by a number of observers and will be supported by the Wales Centre for Public Policy.

The first meeting considered how the Group will organise and undertake its work. We can expect the publication of further detail, following the Group’s second meeting in early February.

The Plaid Cymru Designated Member, Sian Gwenllian and I joined the first virtual meeting to thank the members of the group for undertaking this important work.

It is anticipated the group will publish a number of documents on the substance of their work between early 2023 and mid-2024. I will maintain regular contact with Dr. Davidson and Sian Gwenllian, through quarterly meetings and will update the Senedd as appropriate.

I am grateful to Dr. Davidson and the experts who comprise the Group, who are giving their time freely.

The membership of the Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group is as follows.


Dr. Jane Davidson

Expert members:

Matthew Knight – Siemens Energy

Nick Molho - Aldersgate Group 

Prof. Gavin Bunting - University of Swansea

Paul Allen - Centre of Alternative Technology

Simon Wright - University of Wales Trinity St. Davids

Keith Jones - National Trust

Dr. Judith Thornton - University of Aberystwyth

Rachel Sharp - Wildlife Trust Wales

Prof. Lorraine Whitmarsh  - University of Bath

Jyoti Banerjee - Wales Transition Lab

Prof Karen Morrow - University of Swansea

Dr. Jennifer Rudd - University of Swansea

Dr. Eurgain Powell - Public Health Wales

Derek Walker - Cwmpas

Sarah Dickins – Former BBC Economy Correspondent

Will Penri Evans - Oxford Farming Conference

Ben Rawlence - Director of Black Mountains College

[1] The Co-operation Agreement