subject: CLIMATE CHANGE CENTRE
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Please keep this confidential. It is a note on a phone call last week with
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. In summary, he has offered to "champion" the UEA
cause for a UEA bid for the Climate Change Centre.
Hans Joachim called me last week, initially on ACACIA business, but then
wanted to talk at some length about the Climate Change Centre. He said,
without being asked, that he is a member of the Selection Committee. He
asked about UEA's bid and I emphasised its strength in breadth and depth, at
some length (at his request). He felt it useful to know about this because
he emphasised that he felt rather isolated as one of perhaps only two
members of the selection committee who were familiar with the broad aspects
of climate change analysis. At several points in the conversation, he
volunteered to help us in as discrete as well as honest a way as possible.
I suggested that the best way in which we both might help him is to let him
have our thoughts concerning the underlying issues that might frame a
successful bid (rather than simply describing the strength of our bid to
him); i.e. identifying the key activities which we think are required in a
new Centre, where the current gaps in activity are, where the potential
overlaps are that need to be avoided, what links one might wish to see with
other national and international centres, etc. He thought that this would
help him fulfill an informed and useful role (again in an honest manner) on
the selection board. It would also help us by, incidentally,
informing him of the strong assumptions that underly the UEA bid.
I asked Hans Joachim about the membership of the committee. These are as
follows: Sir Crispin Tickell (Chairman); Danny Ellerman (Energy Programme
MIT); Michael Gibbons (Deputy General Association of Commonwealth
Universities; member of the ESRC Council); Charlotte Grezel (Manager of
Climate Change Programme at BP); Geoff Randall (NERC Council); Steve Rayner
(Battelle; led the recent programme on policy responses to climate change);
Robert Channon (PEGASUS); Tim Swithinbank (Department of Chemical
Engineering Sheffield University); Alan Thorpe (Hadley Centre). I asked if
Sir John Houghton was on the committee and Hans Joachim said he was not; at
least I thought so, until I checked this piece of information later with
Trevor and Mike who indicate that there is clear evidence that Houghton IS on
the committee. I could check that again with Hans Joachim if you wish.
The upshot of this is, to repeat, that Schellnhuber is willing to champion
our cause. The question is how best to do this in a proper manner. One
way, I think, is to keep it at a personal and discrete level and for me to
feed back to him not so much the obvious strengths of the UEA bid but more
the sort of underlying arguments which we have rehearsed and which we think
should properly underlie ANY strong bid (i.e. fleshing out the lack of
information in the Research Councils' description about what is really
nature and its structure). I would be happy to be an informal conduit for
this information, which might be preferable to a formal link between those
more actively preparing the bid.
Please let me know what you think.