News story

Defra appoints six members to new Natural Capital Committee

Expert advice on the state of English Natural Capital from the new Natural Capital Committee will drive forward the 25-year Environment Plan

Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss, has established a new Natural Capital Committee (NCC), fulfilling a Government manifesto commitment by appointing six new members to the independent advisory body to take forward the implementation of the new 25-year Environment Plan.

The NCC provides advice on the state of English Natural Capital to the Economic Affairs Cabinet Committee. This new phase of the committee will help embed the use of open data, values, tools and techniques for local and national decision-makers to use to improve England’s natural capital as part of the 25-year Environment Plan.

The new members will join the Chair, Professor Dieter Helm who was reappointed in December 2015. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Elizabeth Truss said:

Through bringing together considerable skills and experience from a wide range of backgrounds, this new NCC will provide expert advice on how to expand our knowledge of natural capital, how best to use open data to drive environmental improvement and apply what we have learned in practice through the 25-year plan for the environment.

The six newly appointed members of the Committee include:

  • Professor Colin Mayer: Colin is Professor of Management Studies, Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He is an expert on all aspects of corporate finance, governance and taxation, the regulation of financial institutions and the role of the corporation in contemporary society.

  • Diane Coyle: Diane is Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester and is Director of a consultancy called Enlightenment Economics. She is the former Vice Chair of the BBC Trust. She was a member of the Migration Advisory Committee from 2007-2012, as well as the Browne Review of higher education funding, and the Competition Commission 2001-2009.

  • Professor Georgina Mace: Georgina is Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems at UCL and Director of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER). Previously a Director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College, she is currently a NERC Council member, member of the Council of the Royal Society, and Chair of the science committee for the DIVERSITAS global change research programme.

  • Professor Ian Bateman: Ian is Professor and Director of the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE). Ian, an environmental economist, directs the CSERGE which is independently ranked as the No.1 European research institute in environmental and resource economics.

  • Professor Kathy Willis: Kathy is Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Founding Director of the Oxford University Biodiversity Institute and currently also Professor of Biodiversity and Head of Long-term Ecology laboratory at the University of Oxford. She has over 20 years research and teaching experience in biodiversity, conservation and ecosystem management at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

  • Professor Paul Leinster: Paul is Professor of Environmental Assessment at Cranfield University and was formerly Chief Executive of the Environment Agency. He has worked at BP International and Schering Agrochemicals, led a major environmental consultancy and been part of the environmental services directorate at SmithKline Beecham. He also holds a BSc in chemistry, a PhD in environmental engineering and an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management.

The Natural Capital Committee was established in 2012 to provide expert, independent advice to Government on the state of England’s natural capital.