Conversations on Climate

Season 3: Episode 6 – in conversation with Chris Skidmore OBE

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In part one of this conversation, former UK Energy Minister Chris Skidmore OBE discusses his decision to resign from the government over its rollback on net zero commitments. 

He talks about the importance of long-term policy commitments to deliver certainty, clarity, consistency, and continuity in order to unlock economic opportunities and create jobs. 

Skidmore reflects on his proudest achievements during his time in government, including signing Net Zero into law and securing the largest uplift in public spending for research and development in the last 40 years. 

He also shares his thoughts on the changing awareness and attitude towards climate change within the halls of Parliament over the past decade and a half. This video is part of the “Conversations on Climate” series.


‘Being a politician doesn’t give you carte blanche to think you know everything about anything…’

‘… it’s important that we call out disinformation that misinformation and those people willfully trying to undermine action on climate and reduce emissions. But also, let’s listen to them to make sure we’re not missing an opportunity to find common equity.’

‘It is regrettable that we have this polarisation. I’m still trying to find that middle ground by which we can demonstrate this is a sensible, pragmatic course of action’


Some of the highlights you can expect are: 


– Chris Skidmore’s career and accomplishments

– Evolution of climate awareness in Parliament

– Decision-making process behind climate policies

– Importance of independent advice and bipartisanship

– Emotional aspect of resigning on a matter of conscience

– Selling the benefits of the transition to net-zero

– Future of party politics and the impact of climate issues

– Looking ahead to the next general election in the UK

– Advice for the next Prime Minister and young greens

– And more



Linkedin: https://bit.ly/3wXP3bl

Mission Zero Report: https://bit.ly/3TNQVwz

Chris Skidmore website – early books: https://chrisskidmore.co.uk


His Resignation: 

Guardian Article: https://bit.ly/3TtnZZ9

Sky News Article: https://bit.ly/495tKlM


Reflections on a Career in Politics and the Future of Climate Action | Chris Skidmore OBE | Part 1

Episode contents:

00:00 Introduction and Chris Skidmore in 2024

03:09 What achievements are you most proud of?

05:20 The importance and  impact of the Net Zero Review

06:26 How attitudes have changed since Chris was first elected

10:00 Expectations that MPs will be on top of the agenda

13:55 The importance of guidance from the top?

17:10 The genesis of the Net Zero Review and the subsequent rollback

24:50 The difficult decision to resign

29:25 Biggest way to make an impact for the future and the weight of responsibility 

32.58 How does it feel to be a conscientious objector?



This episode of Conversations on Climate is a podcast brought to you by United Renewables.


We bring together the best minds from academia and business, to offer their experience and expertise in the face of climate change –from game theorists to corporate diplomats, and oil industry veterans to micro-algae entrepreneurs.

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We talk about how the scope of the challenge before us is beyond that of any one individual or any one solution. We listen to thinkers, researchers, policymakers, and business leaders. They discuss a diversity of ideas and solutions to global climate and environmental issues and why they matter.


Season 3 is presented by Chris Caldwell and produced by UNITED RENEWABLES.

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If you enjoyed this episode you might like to:

watch episode 14 with Dr Marcel Olbert – Money Talks – ESG, Taxation, and the Future of Climate

watch episode 9 with James Samworth – The Energy Transition

watch season 2 episode 20 – in conversation with CT Green Bank


Find out more about United Renewables and our CEO Chris Caldwell.

United Renewables Home Page 

Chris Caldwell – Linkedin Profile