Cablegate: Bio Information On Uk Delegation to Major Economies
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R 261651Z SEP 07
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SUBJECT: Bio Information on UK Delegation to Major Economies
1. (U) Following is biographic information on the five members of
the UK delegation to the September 27-28 Major Economies Meeting in
Washington DC on climate change and energy security. The five
people are Phil Woolas (Environment Minister at DEFRA), Michael
Jacobs (Advisor to the Prime Minister), John Ashton (Special
Representative on Climate Change, FCO), Henry Derwent (Climate
Change Office, DEFRA), and Graham White (Energy Strategy Office,
DBERR). Photos are available upon request.
DEFRA Minister of Environment
2. (U) Philip James Woolas ("Phil") (born 11 December 1959 in
Burnley, Lancashire, England) was appointed as Minister for the
Environment at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (DEFRA) in June 2007. His responsibilities include climate
change, energy and sustainable development. Before moving to DEFRA,
he was the Minister for Local Government at the Department for
Communities and Local Government.
Previously, Woolas was Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, and
has held roles including Government Whip and Parliamentary Private
Secretary at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the
He contested the 1995 Littleborough and Saddleworth by-election and
has been Member of Parliament for Oldham East and Saddleworth since
1 May 1997.
Before entering Parliament, he was Head of Communications at the GMB
trade union (1991-1997) and was a television producer for the BBC
and ITN (1988-1990). He was President of the National Union of
Students from 1984-1986.
He is a graduate in Philosophy from Manchester University. He is
married with two sons.
Special Adviser to the UK Prime Minister
3. (U) Michael Jacobs is Special Adviser to the Prime Minister with
responsibility for environment, energy and climate change policy.
From 2004 to June 2007 Michael had responsibility for advising
Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer on the same set of
issues. These included environmental and transport tax policy
(including emissions trading), for which the Chancellor had specific
responsibility, and on both day-to-day decisions and strategic
policy development in the environment, energy and climate change
fields across the government as a whole.
Among Michael's activities in the last two years, he led on the $2.6
billion environmental tax reform package announced by the Chancellor
in Budget 2007, building on previous budgets and pre-budget reports;
was Treasury adviser on the UK Government's Energy Review, Energy
White Paper, Planning White Paper, Climate Change Program Review and
Climate Change Bill; was responsible for initiating, launching and
disseminating the Stern Review on the economics of climate change;
initiated and advanced the development of the Energy Investment
Framework with the World Bank and regional development banks;
initiated agreements on the production of biofuels in Southern
Africa with Brazil, South Africa and Mozambique, and on avoided
deforestation with Brazil and others, now being taken forward by the
German G8 presidency; led on the creation of the $1.6 billion
Environmental Transformation Fund for international development and
environment; promoted the development of UK policy on carbon capture
and storage, including a competition to launch a full-scale
commercial demonstration and a collaborative North Sea study with
Norway; helped to establish the UK's new $1.2 billion public-private
Energy Technologies Institute for RD&D; initiated a
market-transforming $100 million procurement program for
microgeneration technologies; brokered the deal with lighting
manufacturers and retailers to phase out high-energy lightbulbs in
the UK by 2011; established initiatives with UK energy companies on
new approaches to energy service markets and with retailers on
energy efficiency in consumer goods; and helped establish the
cross-departmental UK Office of Climate Change. He has taken a
central role in the development of the Government's approach to
international climate change strategy; and wrote a number of major
speeches for the Chancellor on environmental policy.
Michael Jacobs is an environmental economist. Prior to joining the
Treasury his academic and policy work in the field of environmental
economics and policy focused on environmental valuation, the policy
application of sustainable development, the design of environmental
taxation and other instruments of environmental policy,
environmental innovation and growth, and the philosophy and politics
of 'quality of life'. He is author of a number of publications in
these fields, including The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable
Development and the Politics of the Future (Pluto Press, 1991),
Greening the Millennium? The New Politics of the Environment (ed,
Blackwell, 1997), and Environmental Modernization: The New Labor
Agenda (Fabian Society 1999).
Michael Jacobs was formerly a research fellow at the London School
of Economics and at the Centre for the Study of Environmental
Change, Lancaster University; and before that a consultant in
environmental policy and management with CAG Consultants, an
employee-owned firm of which he was Managing Director. From 1997 to
2003 he was General Secretary of the Fabian Society. His work there
covered the full range of social and political issues, including a
major Commission on the politics of taxation and citizenship. His
publications include Paying for Progress: A New Politics of Tax for
Public Spending (Fabian Society 2000) and Progressive Globalization:
Towards an International Social Democracy (Fabian Society 2003).
Special Representative on Climate Change - FCO
4. (U) John Ashton is the Special Representative for Climate Change
for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Director for
Strategic Partnerships at LEAD International and is a founder of the
non-for profit "E3G" (Third Generation Environmentalism).
John Ashton was born in London on 7 November 1956, and educated at
the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle Upon Tyne and at Cambridge
University, where he studied Natural Sciences specializing in
theoretical physics. In 1977, he spent a year as a research
astronomer at the new Cavendish Laboratory.
Ashton has spent most of his career in the British Diplomatic
Service and the British Foreign Office (FCO). He joined the
Diplomatic Service in 1978. From 1981-4, he served as science
officer at the British Embassy in Beijing. He was head of the China
desk at the FCO from 1984-86. He then spent two years seconded to
the UK Cabinet Office before learning Italian and serving in the
British Embassy in Rome from 1988-93.
From 1993-7, he was seconded to the Hong Kong Government as Deputy
Political Adviser to Governor Chris Patten, dealing with matters
relating to Hong Kong's transition to Chinese sovereignty. He was
closely involved in all major dealings between the UK and China
concerning Hong Kong. During this period, his interest in the
environment drew him towards the diplomacy of global change.
John Ashton left the Foreign Service in 2002 to found E3G an
independent not-for-profit organization that works in the public
interest to accelerate the global transition to sustainable
In June 2006 he rejoined the FCO as the UK's "climate ambassador"
for the UK Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett. Ashton was appointed
as a Special Representative for Climate Change.
John Ashton is a Member of the Green College Centre for
Environmental Policy and Understanding. He also serves on the
Advisory Boards of the Climate Institute, Washington DC, and of the
UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
He is married, to Judy; he has one son, John, and one stepson,
Director - Climate Change Office, DEFRA
5. (U) Henry Derwent is Director of Climate, Energy and
Environmental Risk at the UK Department for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs (DEFRA), where his responsibilities cover the
environmental impacts of and policies towards climate change,
sustainable energy, chemicals, biotechnology and genetic
modification, the nuclear industry and radioactivity. During the UK
Presidency of the EU he was the Special Representative to the Prime
Minister on Climate Change.
He has previously held a number of positions in the Departments of
Transport and Environment, covering roads, transport industries,
vehicle licensing, finance, local government and other fields. His
last post was a spell as a Corporate Finance Executive on loan to a
major international investment bank.
Director, Energy Strategy and International Unit, DBERR
6. (U) Graham White became the Head of the Energy Strategy and
International Unit at the Department for Business, Enterprise and
Regulatory Reform (DBERR) in July 2006. The Unit is responsible for
domestic and international strategy on energy policy. The Unit has
specific responsibility for energy strategy, managing interagency
co-ordination on sustainable energy, longer-term energy modelling,
climate change, international and European energy policy.
Previously Graham was a Director in the Energy Markets Unit
responsible for energy information systems and the social and
environmental impacts of energy markets. He was a member of the UK
Government emergency team that dealt with the petrol crisis in
September 2000 and has been involved in subsequent emergency
Graham has been involved in a number of international energy
initiatives, including work to promote greater transparency in oil
markets, the EU internal market and the G8 climate change package,
and serves on the International Energy Agency's Governing Board. He
is currently chairman of the IEA's Oil Market Group.
Graham joined the Civil Service from University and has worked in
several departments (Office for National Statistics, Inland Revenue,
Cabinet Office and the Treasury) before joining the Department of
Trade and Industry (DTI) in 1989. Since joining the DTI (now DBERR)
he has worked on energy in a number of areas.