Experts in public health and climate forecasting appointed to ASC – 16 October 2009

The Secretary of State for Environment, Hilary Benn, and the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, today announced that Professor Anne Johnson and Professor Tim Palmer will take up the remaining two posts in the Adaptation Sub-Committee, which is chaired by Lord John Krebs. The ASC has been set up to provide independent advice to the UK Government on preparing for the impacts of climate change. It reports to the main Committee on Climate Change.

The founding members were appointed in June. They are: Dr Sam Fankhauser, Professor Martin Parry, Professor Jim Hall, Dr Andrew Dlugolecki, Baroness Barbara Young and Graham Wynne.

Professor Anne Johnson trained as a public health doctor and is now Professor of infectious diseases epidemiology and Director of the Division of Population Health at University College London.  She is currently Chair of the Medical Research Council Population Health Sciences Group.

Professor Tim Palmer is a world leader in physical science and climate modelling. He has pioneered approaches to representing uncertainty in weather and climate forecasts and has worked extensively with users of climate forecasts.

Professor Palmer was lead author of the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is Chair of the international scientific steering group of a key climate prediction project under the UN World Climate Research Programme. Tim is a Fellow of the Royal Society and has been appointed a Royal Society 2010 Anniversary Professor from January 2010, a position he will hold at Oxford University.

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Environment, said:

“These two appointments provide the committee with leading experts in the area of public health and climate change science. Their knowledge will make a vital contribution in our efforts to adapt to climate change.”

Lord Krebs, Chair of the Adaptation Sub-Committee, welcomed the appointments saying:

“Both appointments are excellent and provide the Sub-Committee with expertise in areas that are vital for assessing the UK’s preparedness for climate change.”

These appointments were made jointly between the Government and the Devolved Administrations. The Welsh Assembly Government represented the Devolved Administrations in the selection process.