In June 2006 John was appointed as the UK Foreign Secretary’s Special
Representative for Climate Change with the aim of supporting Ministers
in delivering a step-change in the international response to climate
change – a new strategic priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office. He has the personal title of Ambassador, reporting directly to
the Foreign Secretary.
A co-founder and Chief Executive of E3G since 2004, John has been
continuously active in climate diplomacy in various capacities since
1997. 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.
Before that, while still in government, he was from 1998-2002 a senior
member of the UK negotiating team in the UN climate negotiations.
John has spent most of his career in the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office. He founded and led its Environment Policy Department, before
moving outside government in 2002 in preparation for the establishment
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 Attache 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.
John is married, with one son. He relaxes by playing cricket.