John Ashton

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Biographical Information

"John is the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Climate Change with the aim of supporting Ministers in building a stronger foundation for an effective response to climate change. He has the personal title of Ambassador with direct access to the Foreign Secretary. John has played a key role in designing the FCO’s climate change network and strategy, with its focus on climate stability as a precondition for security, prosperity and equity, and on strategic political engagement with the emerging and other major economies.

"John has spent most of his career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). He founded and led its Environment Policy Department, before moving outside government in 2002, to set up environmental think-tank E3G, from which he is now seconded to the FCO.

"John has been continuously active in climate diplomacy in various capacities since 1997. He was involved in negotiating the EU 2020 package on climate change in spring 2007 and the decision in December 2008 on funding for CCS across Europe. He helped negotiate the agreement in 2005 between the EU and China to demonstrate zero emission coal technology in China, and was closely involved in the EU’s engagement with Russia over the Kyoto Protocol. He played a key role in the first UN security debate on climate change in April 2007. He was a senior member of the UK negotiating team in the UN climate negotiations from 1998-2002, and again at Copenhagen.

"A major theme of John’s career has been China. He speaks Chinese. He was an adviser to Governor Chris Patten in Hong Kong from 1993-7. His first diplomatic assignment, from 1981-4, was as Science Attaché in the British Embassy in Beijing. He also has experience at high level on a wide range of European and global issues, including as a political officer in the British Embassy in Rome from 1988-93."[1]

"He is a steering committee member of Climate Care and serves on the Advisory Boards of the Climate Institute, Washington DC; the UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research; the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Climate Change Capital. " [2]

Resources and articles

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  1. FCO John Ashton, organizational web page, accessed April 14, 2012.
  2. E3G John Ashton, organizational web page, accessed April 14, 2012.