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Sir David King appointed UK climate change envoy

Former Chief Scientific Advisor takes key Foreign Office post two years ahead of proposed UN emissions reduction deal

(Pic: World Economic Forum)

By Ed King

Sir David King has been appointed as Foreign Secretary William Hague’s new special representative for climate change.

The Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor from 2000–2007 takes charge of an extensive network of climate diplomats, and will lead the UK’s overseas work on promoting low carbon growth.

King replaces Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, who had taken the role on an interim basis earlier this year, focusing on the security implications of climate change.

In a statement released at the weekend, Hague said Sir David will play an important role in negotiations ahead of a global emissions reduction deal scheduled for 2015.

“As well as a long-held commitment to raising awareness of climate change, he brings a deep and specific knowledge of climate and energy issues and a wealth of broader experience to the role, which he will begin later this year,” he said.

“I know that Sir David is keen to build on Neil’s excellent work, working with the FCO’s global network and DECC, as we continue to build the conditions and momentum towards securing a global and legally binding climate agreement in 2015.”

In 2004 King branded global warming as a “greater threat than global terrorism”, and is credited with raising the profile of the issue within Tony Blair’s government.

Four years later the UK adopted the Climate Change Act, legislation that provides a legally binding framework for the country to decarbonise its energy system.

Earlier this year King warned that the threat of climate change is now so severe it demands a response similar to the Apollo Moon landings and the Manhattan Project that developed the nuclear bomb.

Writing in the FT in August, King and economist Richard Layard argued G20 countries need to join forces to invest in solar power.

“To match the spending on the Apollo project would require only 0.05 per cent of each year’s gross domestic product for 10 years from each G20 country.”

King added: “Since we have just passed 400 parts per million [of carbon dioxide] and most climate scientists believe 450 will leave to potential calamities, this is a good moment to give an extra push to the development of solar energy.”

Given the proximity of a UN climate deal, the appointment may be seen as risky by some observers.

In 2011 King recommended the UN’s flagship emissions reduction treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, be scrapped, suggesting voluntary goals would be politically more acceptable to countries.

“If you say only a full [legally binding] treaty is any good, we will still be arguing about it in 20 years,” he told the Guardian.

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  • Sam

    What a peculiar appointment to make. Fun and games ahead.

    ‘Illarianov was appalled by the behaviour of Sir David and his delegation, he wrote afterwards:

    “It is not for us to give an assessment to what happened but in our opinion the reputation of British science, the reputation of the British government and the reputation of the title “Sir” has sustained heavy damage.”

    I’m touched that the Independent continues to do the charitable work of making Sir David feel better about himself by still taking him seriously. But I’m not sure I can promise to carry on this tradition when I take over as Environment Editor.

    Problem is, I’m with Illarionov. I believe, as he does, that the eco-fascist ideology and warped science underpinning the AGW scam are like something out of Stalin’s Soviet Union.

    As Illarionov wrote:

    “That ideological base can be juxtaposed and compared with man-hating totalitarian ideology with which we had the bad fortune to deal during the twentieth century, such as National Socialism, Marxism, Eugenics, Lysenkovism and so on. All methods of distorting information existing in the world have been committed to prove the alleged validity of these theories. Misinformation, falsification, fabrication, mythology, propaganda.” ‘

    See: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100024591/at-last-expert-sir-david-king-expertly-reveals-true-identity-of-climategate-hackers/

    Will a new wave of this nonsense become known as Hagueism, or Kingism, or just merely Dumbism Continued Beyond All Parody?

  • windy2

    King is too late as his experts have informed us that the Arctic ice has completely melted in 2013 and that your children will soon die of spontaneous combustion in the near future.

  • saveenergy

    King is the man who said in 2002 -
    “Antarctica is likely to be the world’s only habitable continent
    by the end of this century if global warming remains unchecked”,

    yet according to The French S Polar station shows no trend
    since 1950. The trend is negative (Colder) since 1980- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASA_T%C2%BA_D%27Urvi_1950-2012.gif
    & http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/antarctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

    & just to prove kings words wrong –

    A ship bearing “Global Warming Scientists” Frozen in a world of ICE they predicted wasen’t there.

    More info – http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/30/the-antarctic-research-fiasco-would-you-could-you-in-a-boat/

    You couldn’t make it up !!