Two of the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)’s key policy makers have resigned within a week, leaving a question mark over the direction of the department.
DECC’S head of strategy Ravi Gurumurthy resigned on Friday (3 May), following the departure of director of energy strategy and futures Jonathan Brearley, who unexpectedly left his post a week earlier.
No replacements for Brearley or Gurumurthy have been announced. The department has seen a tumultous 12 months, with three ministers taking on the energy minister role. Michael Fallon replaced John Hayes as minister of state for energy and climate change at the end of March.
Brearley lead the department’s policy on energy security and coordinated several energy policy teams. The role is a key DECC post as the government pushes the long-awaited Energy Bill through parliament.
Brearley oversaw the Electricity Market Reform process and the development of onshore and offshore grids. Previously, he set up and ran the Office of Climate Change - a cross-departmental office that developed and delivered energy and climate change policy and projects. This work included developing the draft Climate Change Bill, setting up the secretariat for the Committee on Climate Change, modelling international climate finance and delivering public reviews of carbon trading and of deforestation.
Labour MP Barry Gardiner said: “The problems at DECC cannot be solved easily. They are the result of substantial frustrations from senior civil servants and advisers that the department’s policies are a product [of] party-political compromise rather than evidence. Ravi Gurumurthy and Jonathan Brearley’s frustrations were well known and far from the exception.”
- The officials resignation was reported on our sister title Infrastructure Journal