Witnesses named for fracking risks inquiry

Academics, a gas industry representative, a climate change adviser, a peer and a regulator will be giving evidence to the parliamentary inquiry on the environmental risks of fracking. Our report on the inquiry

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has named the witnesses for its first hearings on Wednesday 14th January 2015. They are:

Morning session

  • Tom Burke, E3G
  • Professor Paul Stevens, Chatham House
  • Dr John Broderick, Tyndall Manchester

Afternoon session

  • Dr Tony Grayling and Mark Ellis Jones, Environment Agency
  • Jane Burston, Centre for Carbon Measurement, National Physical Laboratory
  • Lord Smith, Task Force on Shale Gas
  • Steve Thompsett, UK Onshore Oil & Gas


Tom Burke
TomBurkeFounding director and chairman of E3G, non-profit organisation which describes its aim as “operating in the public interest to accelerate the global transition to sustainable development”.

Visiting professor and Imperial and University Colleges, London, member of the External Review Committee of Shell and Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board of Unilever, Trustee of the Black-E Community Arts Project.

Professor Paul Stevens

PaulStevensDistinguished fellow at Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs).

Professor emeritus at the University of Dundee and visiting professor at University College, London (Australia).

Former Professor of Petroleum Policy and Economics at the Centre of Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee, a chair created by BP. In March 2009 he was presented with the OPEC Award in recognition of his work in oil and energy research.

Dr John Broderick
????????Knowledge Exchange Fellow at Tyndall Manchester, a partner of the Centre for Climate Change Research at Manchester University. As a researcher at the Tyndall Centre, he specialised in emissions accounting and carbon trading. With Professor Kevin Anderson he was commissioned by the European Parliament to review the low carbon credentials of unconventional gas.

He now works on climate policy with organisations outside academia. Recently he has worked with the Welsh Assembly Government, The Co-operative Group and Friends of the Earth. His current project is with Electricity North West on a number of Low Carbon Network Fund projects to understand the ways in which electrification can contribute to avoiding dangerous climate change.

Dr Tony Grayling

TonyGraylingThe Environment Agency’s Director of Technical and Cross-Cutting, including climate change, energy, land use planning, sustainable growth and development.

Previously head of climate change and communities and head of environmental policy at the EA. Worked as a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Minister for Transport and as a research fellow and associate director at the think-tank the Institute of Public Policy Research. Also a researcher for two Labour MPs and a policy officer for the Labour Party.

Mark Ellis-Jones
MarkEllisJonesEnvironment and Business Manager at the Environment Agency.

Formerly the EA’s onshore oil and gas programme executive and manager of programmes on hydropower, renewable energy and climate change adaptation. Before joining the EA, he worked for charities and third sector organisations, including the National Trust.

Jane Burston
JaneBurstonHead of Centre for Carbon Measurement, National Physical Laboratory since 2011. Projects include an initiative to measure methane emissions from industrial sites, including fracking rigs. Cuadrilla Resources is a partner in the project. She is also a non-executive director of the Sandbag Climate Campaign, an organisation focussed on emissions trading.

Formerly co-founded the carbon offsetting social enterprise, Carbon Retirement, for which she was named as one of Management Today’s 35 high-flying women under 35 and as Square Mile magazine’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year. Also worked as consultant on climate change policy for organisations including Transport for London and the Mayor of London’s office. 2009 British Council Climate Ambassador.

Lord Chris Smith
LordChrisSmithFounding chair of Task Force on Shale Gas, the industry-funded group which aims (in its words) “to provide a transparent, trusted, independent and impartial platform for public scrutiny, discussion and information about shale gas”.

Also a non-affiliated member of the House of Lords and Chair of the Advertising Standards Authority. Formerly Chair of the Environment Agency, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport and MP for Islington South and Finsbury.

Steve Thompsett
SteveThompsettDirector, UKOOG, the body funded by and representing the UK onshore oil and gas industry.

Formerly Director of Water and Energy Environment for Capita, the outsourcing and professional services company, and Head of Climate Resilience and Adaptation at the international engineering, architecture and construction firm, Jacobs. While at Jacobs, he was seconded to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to work on policy development for licensing exploration and development. He also spent six years at the Environment Agency.

The committee sessions start at 10.15am and 2.15pm.

Members of the Environmental Audit Committee

[Updated on 7/1/15 to include Dr Tony Grayling and Mark Ellis-Jones, whose names were released on that date, and on 8/1/15 to change “climate change campaigner” to  “climate change adviser” in the first paragraph]

2 replies »

  1. Hi Sheila – I was referring to Jane Burston’s previous jobs – but perhaps climate change adviser might be a better description. I’ll update the post to bemore accurate. Thanks for commenting.

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