Prof. John Ashton

Visiting Professor

John Ashton is an independent commentator and adviser on the politics of climate change. He is also well known for the role he has played in climate diplomacy.

John brings his perspectives and experience to help the Grantham Research Institute pursue its mission and ensure that its research and communication has the maximum salience in relation to the political choices that the UK and other societies make.


From 2006-12, John served as Special Representative for Climate Change for three successive UK Foreign Secretaries, spanning the current Coalition and the previous Labour Governments. The UK Foreign Office pioneered during this time a diplomacy-led approach to climate change that came to be widely admired.

He was a co-founder and, from 2004-6, the first Chief Executive of the think tank E3G. From 1978-2002, after a brief period as a research astronomer, he was a career diplomat, with a particular focus on China.

He is a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College. He holds visiting professorships at the London School of Economics and the London University School of Oriental and African Studies. He is a Trustee of the UK Youth Climate Coalition and Tipping Point, and a non-executive Director of E3G.


Policy Seminars 12 Nov 2010

The Diplomacy of Climate Change: prospects for the next CoP

Speaker: Professor John Ashton, UK Foreign Secretary’s Climate Change Ambassador

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