Lord Turner to head UK climate change committee

29 January 2008

Lord Jonathan Adair Turner has been named as the first chairman of the new Committee on Climate Change, which will provide the UK government with independent, expert advice on how the country can best meet its climate change goals.

Lord Turner is a former director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and was vice chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe. He is currently chairman to the Economic and Social Research Council and is also currently a non-executive director of a number of business groups.


The committee is being established as a high-profile independent statutory body under the Climate Change Bill. It will be the first of its kind, bringing together different strands of expertise from the fields of climate science and policy, economic, business competitiveness and financial management. In addition to the chairman, five to eight committee members will be appointed.

The committee will also review the UK's target to reduce Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by at least 60% by 2050 to determine whether the target should be increased up to 80%, as announced by the prime minister in 2007.

Announcing Lord Turner's appointment, environment secretary Hilary Benn said: "The Committee on Climate Change will play a central role in our push towards achieving a low-carbon economy in Britain. The government will rely on its detailed, expert advice to ensure we tackle our CO2 emissions over the next four decades, to ensure we avoid dangerous climate change.

Lord Turner commented: "Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, but we can mitigate its effects at manageable economic cost provided we take early and effective action. The Climate Change Bill commits the UK to stretching emission reduction targets and the committee will have a vital role in advising how to achieve them."