The Climate Group strengthens leadership team

The Climate Group has today (16 February) bolstered its global leadership team with the double appointment of a new chief executive and a UK board trustee.

Viki Cooke (left) joins as the The Climate Group's UK board trustee, while Helen Clarkson will be the organisation's new chief executive

Viki Cooke (left) joins as the The Climate Group's UK board trustee, while Helen Clarkson will be the organisation's new chief executive

Helen Clarkson joins the not-for-profit organisation as chief executive after leaving her post as the chief operating officer of Forum for the Future. The former director of finance for international humanitarian NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-UK will succeed Damian Ryan, who has been acting in the position since July 2016. 

Clarkson said: “I have long been an admirer of the Climate Group in both its ability to convene high profile businesses and governments, and demonstrating what change can look like through its initiatives. 

"I think now, more than ever, there is an imperative for strong civil society leadership and action, and I look forward to working with the team in driving forward initiatives such as RE100 and work with states and regions, to help us achieve a prosperous clean economy.” 

Meanwhile, the UK board trustee position has been filled by Viki Cooke, a founding partner of research consultancy BritainThinks.

“I’m delighted to be joining The Climate Group as Trustee," Cooke said. "With the issue of climate change growing ever more important, I look forward to working with the UK Board to help drive ambitious climate action.” 

Critical period

The Climate Group has set up various platforms for businesses to enhance their sustainability credentials; most notably the RE100 campaign, which encourages corporates to agree to source 100% of electricity demand from renewable sources. 

Gatwick Airport became the latest signatory of the scheme last month, alongside Dutch Royal Philips and the Danske Bank Group, as a new report revealed that existing members have already created a 107TWh demand for clean energy. 

As well as seeking more members in 2017, the Climate Group will encourage firms to join the EP100 – a scheme aimed at doubling in-house energy productivity and maximising economic output. 

Commenting on today's announcement, the Climate Group's chair of the board Joan MacNaughton said she was "delighted" to have Clarkson and Cooke on board as "we enter a new a criticial period for climate action". 

“I am confident that the breadth and depth of experience that each of them will bring will be invaluable in increasing the impact of our work at this key time," MacNaughton said. 

"Increasingly, the Climate Group has established itself as an innovative and forward thinking organization with a strong vision of how to move to a low carbon, prosperous future, harnessing the efforts of state and regional actors as well as businesses, to make this happen. With our newly strengthened organisation, I am confident we can increase the momentum of climate action in the coming years.” 

George Ogleby


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Climate change
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