GWEC enlists RenewableUK’s Head of Policy to lead COP26 work

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) announced today that Rebecca Williams, Head of Policy and Regulation at RenewableUK, will join GWEC on secondment from April to November 2021 as Director of COP26 to coordinate the global wind industry association’s work around the crucial climate conference.

As the clean energy technology with the most decarbonisation potential per MW, wind power will play a key role in achieving each country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and net zero targets. Williams will lead GWEC’s initiatives in the lead-up and during COP26 in Glasgow, collaborating closely with RenewableUK, WindEurope, as well as GWEC’s global network of wind power companies and associations.

Ben Backwell, CEO at GWEC commented: “2021 marks the beginning of a crucial decade of climate action, and COP26 will be a key moment to put in place concrete plans and commitments to achieve net zero. It is essential that the global wind industry comes together at this decisive moment to make sure our voice is heard, so that governments around the world know what actions need to be taken on-the-ground to scale-up renewable energy deployment at the necessary pace to meet their climate targets. Given the UK’s role in hosting the summit and its historical wind power leadership, we are thrilled to be working with Rebecca this year with her deep knowledge of UK regulation and institutions, as well as her experience with international climate negotiations”.

Williams is a renewable energy, climate change and energy transition expert, currently leading RenewableUK’s work to develop policy and engage stakeholders on the next steps in the energy transition. She specialises in market design, working closely with governments and regulators to effect change that will deliver renewable energy at the scale needed for net zero. Before joining RenewableUK, she worked on climate change and energy at the NGO WWF-UK, where she focussed on issues such as the international UN Paris Agreement on climate change, and a successful campaign to secure the phase-out of coal-fired power generation in the UK. She has also worked for Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead MP.

Rebecca Williams, Director of COP26 at GWEC added: “This is an exciting opportunity and I’m delighted to be joining GWEC to co-ordinate the voices of national and international organisations committed to putting wind energy at the heart of the global drive to tackle climate change. The UK is the right place to host this key event as the first country to commit to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. We are the world leader in offshore wind and innovative technologies such as floating wind and renewable hydrogen. Many other countries will be coming here in November to see at first hand what the Prime Minister’s Green Industrial Revolution means in practice – creating jobs and attracting investment in landmark renewable energy projects which enable us to take meaningful action against the greatest threat to our way of life”.

Williams will officially join GWEC in her new role on the 6 April 2021.