Claire O'Neill – Keynote Speaker

Recent UK Climate and Energy Minister

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Specialist Subjects

  • Environment
  • Climate change
  • Low carbon transition
  • Clean Growth Opportunities


  • English


Claire O’Neill served as a UK Member of Parliament from 2010-2019 and as the UK Minister for Climate Change and Energy from 2017 during which time she is widely credited with driving the acceleration and expansion of the Government’s decarbonisation and Clean Growth plans. During this time Claire wrote and implemented the UK’s Clean Growth and Green Finance Strategies, created the global Powering Past Coal Alliance, oversaw the deployment of £3 billion of International Climate Finance, negotiated the world’s first public-private Offshore Wind Sector Deal and led the UK Carbon Capture and Storage taskforce. In 2019 she brought forward the country’s ground-breaking Net Zero legislation and led the UK’s winning bid to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). She served as COP26 President-Designate until she left politics in 2020.

Claire has now joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as the Managing Director for Climate, Energy and Natural Climate Solutions. WBCSD is the leading voice for business sustainability and is a global CEO-led organisation representing a combined revenue of over $8 trillion and 19 million employees.

A popular and engaging speaker, Claire O’Neill offers unique insights into the global process of climate diplomacy and policy-making, provides detailed pragmatic solutions needed for climate recovery and is passionate about the climate action leadership needed from the business and financial sectors – and the opportunity that this presents.

Claire O’Neill grew up in the UK and studied Geography at Oxford University followed by an MBA at Harvard Business School. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and she and her husband live in the UK where they are avid cyclists and beekeepers.

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