Chair appointed to new Adaptation Sub-Committee to CCC – 12 May 2009

The Environment Secretary Hilary Benn today announced the appointment of Lord John Krebs as the Chair of the Adaptation Sub-Committee of  the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). As the Chair of the Sub-Committee Lord Krebs will also sit on the main Committee.

The Adaptation Sub-Committee has been established under the Climate Change Act 2008 to provide advice  to the CCC on adapting climate change. It will provide advice on climatic risks in the UK, and ensure that the Government’s adaptation programme enables England to prepare effectively for the impacts of climate change.

Lord Krebs is an internationally renowned scientist. He is the Principal of Jesus College, Oxford University. Lord Krebs sits in the House of Lords as an independent cross-bencher and is currently chairing an enquiry by the Science and Technology Select Committee into Nanotechnology and Food. Lord Krebs was the first Chairman of the British Food Standards Agency (2000–05). He has received numerous awards and honorary degrees for his scientific work.

Hilary Benn said:

“The Adaptation Sub-Committee will play a significant role in helping to prepare the country for the impacts of a changing climate. I am delighted that Lord Krebs will chair the Adaptation Sub-Committee. His experience and knowledge will make a vital contribution.”

Lord Adair Turner, Chair of the CCC, welcomed the appointment saying:

“I am delighted that Lord Krebs will be joining us. His experience will be valuable in helping us to understand the environmental impacts of climate change and how we might adapt to them in the future. Although the ultimate goal is to reduce the effects of dangerous climate change by reducing our emissions, it is clear that we are already committed to some climate change and we will therefore have to be prepared for some adverse impacts on our environment”.

This appointment was made jointly between the Government and the devolved administrations. The Welsh Assembly Government represented the devolved administrations in the selection process. The process of appointing the 5-8 members of the Adaptation Sub-Committee board is underway.

Notes to Editors:

  • This appointment has been monitored by the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA).
  • The appointment will be for a period of five years with the possibility of re-appointment.
  • The appointments process was managed by Defra (who have policy and sponsorship responsibility for the ASC) in concert with DECC (who have policy and sponsorship for the CCC). The appointment was approved by Ministers in the Devolved Administrations.
  • More information on the Government’s work on adapting to the impacts of climate change can be found on: www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/adapt/index.htm
  • Between 1994 and 1999, Lord Krebs was Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council. Lord Krebs is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of Academia Europaea and of the Max Planck Society, A Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the American Philosophical Society.
  • In 2007 Lord Krebs chaired a working party of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics to produce a report on the Ethics of Public Health. He is also a Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation, Chairman of the UK Science and Technology Honours Committee, Chairman of the Royal Society’s Science Policy Advisory Group, a member of the Balzan Foundation General Prize Committee and President-Elect of Campden BRI.
  • The Adaptation Sub Committee will sit within the CCC and will be supported by 5 members of the CCC Secretariat. The CCC is an independent body established under the Climate Change Act to advise the Government on setting the first legally binding carbon budgets, and to report to Parliament on the progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The CCC also advises on what the UK’s long-term climate change target should be as a fair contribution towards a global deal. More information about the ASC can be found on the CCC website at: www.theccc.org.uk/

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Emily Towers, 0207 270 1910, 07766 366 577
Mark Bainbridge, 0207 270 1916, 07740 612 468