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Climate Change

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3432, tabled on 22 November 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what priority the Foreign and Commonwealth Office places on climate change; how many of its civil servants work or worked on climate change in a full and part-time capacity (1) currently, (2) in 2015, (3) in 2014, and (4) in 2013.

Answered on

1 December 2016

Climate change is one of the important global issues that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) works on through diplomacy. In doing so, we work closely with other government departments including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The FCO has staff working on climate diplomacy both in London and overseas.

Overseas, staff numbers include UK-based and locally engaged staff. We have identified activity allocated towards 'Climate Change/Low Carbon Economy/Energy Security' on our financial systems. These figures rely on individual staff member's recording of their activities, and show numbers of FCO staff Full Time Equivalent (FTE) who spend some time in this policy area. The resource is allocated as part of broader geographical activity so exact numbers can change. Hence we are able to provide a snapshot of the number of staff at a point in time. In January 2016, 149 FTE members of staff were working on climate change and energy issues across our network of embassies, high commissions and other overseas posts, of which 72 staff worked on these issues full-time. In January 2015, 158 FTE members of staff worked on climate change and energy issues, of which 79 were devoted to these issues full-time. In January 2014, 177 FTE staff undertook this work, of which 86 were devoted full-time. And in March 2013, 177 FTE staff members worked on these issues, of which 72 were devoted full-time. Our next set of updated figures will be available in the New Year.

In London, the following figures reflect our best estimates of staff working specifically on climate change as part of units primarily focused on climate and energy. Currently there are 8 FTE members of staff working on climate change. In September 2015, 16 FTE members of staff were working on this issue. In September 2014, 20 FTE members of staff were working on it. And in July 2013, an estimated 26 FTE members of staff were working on climate change.