David Cameron has appointed a former lobbyist for British Gas to be his personal advisor on energy and climate change. Tara Singh’s appointment was generally welcomed by people worried that the Tories are becoming increasingly sceptical about climate change.
Tara Singh, whose previous role as public affairs manager at British-Gas owner Centrica involved frequent contact with the Conservative Party, took up her newly-created role at Number 10 this week.
She is responsible for briefing the prime minister on a day-to-day basis on issues relating to energy and climate change.
This is a crucial role as the government works furiously to complete the Energy Bill, a hugely important and ambitious piece of legislation that will dictate the shape of the country’s power infrastructure and will determine whether Britain’s lights stay on.
Ms Singh is also likely to be heavily involved in the run-up to the crucial Paris climate change summit in 2015, where nearly 200 countries will attempt to reach a hugely challenging agreement to significantly cut their carbon emissions. Energy Minister Ed Davey has said he wants Britain to play a key role in agreeing a global settlement.
Ms Singh joined Centrica in July 2009, working there for nearly four years before joining the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton in January for a short stint. Her work at Hill & Knowlton saw her representing the US defence giant Lockheed Martin, the RenewableUK trade association and Statoil, the Norwegian oil company raided by the European Commission last week on suspicion that it sought to inflate oil and petrol prices.
However, while the Conservative party’s appointment of a representative for big oil, gas and defence groups raised eye-brows in some quarters, her appointment was generally welcomed by people worried that the Tories are becoming increasingly sceptical about climate change.
One environmental campaigner said: “She is not a climate sceptic by any stretch of the imagination”.