The missing secondee
Nov 11, 2013
Bishop Hill in Climate: Parliament, Energy: grid, Greens

I have been pondering the idea of putting in an FOI to DECC to find out who has been seconded to them from green organisations. Then this morning I discovered that I no longer had to because Greenpeace have already done the work for me, obtaining a list of all secondees, both inwards and outwards. It can be seen here.

Greepeace's Damian Kahya is, not unreasonably, somewhat exercised about the appearance of two gas company lobbyists on the list, but there are plenty of greens as well. We see someone from green consultancy Ecofys, plus all the other big consultancy firms too; there are a couple from the Met Office, one from the Committee on Climate Change, one from GLOBE and a whole cohort from the Carbon Trust. However, I was struck by one outfit that was not represented.

Over the weekend I chanced upon a profile of Ben Caldecott, one of those surfing the tsunami of easy green money that is sweeping UK public life. He's currently involved with Bloomberg NEF, an organisation that is heavily involved in the renewables industry, both as financiers and propagandists. He has another role as well, at the Oxford Martin School, where he writes allegedly learned papers about "stranded assets" - this is the idea that fossil fuel reserves will shortly become worthless because their extraction will become illegal. He is no doubt grateful to the university of Oxford for allowing their name to be used to boost his financial interests at BNEF.

Before joining BNEF, Caldecott was with Climate Change Capital, another outfit operating in the same area. During his time there he was apparently seconded to DECC's strategy unit. Strangely, however, the newly released list of DECC secondees doesn't mention anyone coming to the ministry from Climate Change Capital.

It's probably just a mistake, but sometimes such mistakes can signify something.

Update on Nov 11, 2013 by Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Hilariously, Damian Kahya has just tweeted Bryony Worthington, shocked at the government having a British Gas ex-lobbyist involved in legislation. No sense of irony some people.

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