The UK Government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Devolved Administrations have appointed Richard Dawson, Professor of Earth Systems Engineering and Head of Water in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University, to the Adaptation Committee of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). Professor Dawson will take over from Professor Jim Hall who stands down from the Adaptation Committee this month after 10 years of service.
Professor Dawson has spent the last two decades researching and analysing climatic impacts on the UK’s catchments, cities, and infrastructure. He’s a member of the National Infrastructure Commission’s Technical Expert Panel, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKRCIC), as well as holding editorial roles on a number of scientific journals. He was recently also a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the IPCC’s 2018 Cities and Climate Change Conference and a lead author for the chapter on Infrastructure in the CCC’s 2017 UK Climate Change Risk Assessment evidence report.
Richard will join leading members of the independent Adaptation Committee with expertise in climate change impacts, science, environmental economics, conservation, public health and business. He will play a key role in helping to provide expert advice to the UK and devolved governments and parliaments on preparing for, and adapting to, climate change.
Professor Jim Hall is the longest-serving member of the Adaptation Committee to date. Over the last decade, his experience and expertise has helped to set the agenda when it comes to assessing the impacts of climate change on flooding, water and infrastructure systems and he has played a pivotal role in determining how well the UK is preparing for, and building its resilience to, the effects of a changing climate.
Commenting on his appointment, Professor Richard Dawson said: “Jim Hall taught me as a PhD student and has been a long-term mentor. I am truly honoured to be appointed as his replacement on the Adaptation Committee. Over the last decade the Committee has set a very high standard for the rigour and quality of its work, establishing the UK as a world-leader in climate change adaptation. However, there is still important work to be done to monitor and manage the risks of climate change to the UK’s cities, rural communities, infrastructure and businesses.”
Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, Baroness Brown, said: “I’m delighted Professor Richard Dawson is joining the Adaptation Committee. His extensive experience studying the impacts of climate change will provide us with hugely important insights, especially as the Committee prepares to deliver the next Climate Change Risk Assessment evidence report to the UK Government in 2021, and its third progress report on climate change adaptation in England this summer.
“I would also like to warmly thank Professor Jim Hall for his exceptional contribution over the last ten years. A founding member of the Adaptation Committee, he has been instrumental to our work on coastal change, played a key role in reviewing UK climate change risk, and helped to deliver the Adaptation Committee’s first progress report to Parliament, to name just a few of his successes. Jim has long championed the importance of robust and impartial scrutiny, which in turn has helped the Adaptation Committee to set the agenda when it comes to assessing the UK’s preparations for climate change.”