Department of Energy and Climate Change

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Global warming.jpg This article is part of the Climate project of SpinWatch.



The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) says it aims to create a “thriving, globally competitive, low carbon energy economy” in the UK. [1] It is responsible for nuclear energy policy and describes nuclear as “low-carbon, affordable, dependable [and] safe”.[2]

Nuclear spin.png This article is part of the Nuclear Spin project of SpinWatch.
It runs the Office for Nuclear Development which “focuses on removing potential barriers to investment, and signals clearly to the industry the serious intent of the Government to push forward nuclear new build.”[3]


DECC was created in 2008 and brought together much of the Climate Change Group, previously housed within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), with the Energy Group from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR).[4]

Controversies, criticisms and conflicts of interest

Spinning Fukushima nuclear meltdown

On 7 April 2011, the DECC's Office for Nuclear Development invited companies to attend a meeting at the lobby group Nuclear Industry Association (NIA)'s London headquarters as part of a public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident. The aim was 'to discuss a joint communications and engagement strategy aimed at ensuring we maintain confidence among the British public on the safety of nuclear power stations and nuclear new-build policy in light of recent events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant'.[5]

Nuclear industry secondees

In February 2013 Freedom of Information requests by Spinwatch revealed that Rolls-Royce, which describes itself as 'part of the UK's nuclear industry for the past 50 years' had lent DECC their employee Sophie Macfarlane-Smith to serve as DECC's head of ‘new nuclear capabilities and removing barriers’. At DECC she is responsible for 'enhancing the capability' of the UK's 'new nuclear supply chain and skills'. DECC says it meets her salary cost.[6]

Revolving door


Ministers in 2012-13

  • Ed Davey is the Secretary of State. He replaced Chris Huhne in February 2012. Under the previous government the now Labour leader Ed Miliband held this position.
  • Michael Fallon replaced John Hayes as Minister of State for Energy in March 2013, with responsibility for nuclear
  • Greg Barker is Minister of State for Climate Change
  • Baroness Verma is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change[7]

Previous ministers

Special advisers

Former special advisers

Civil servants working on nuclear issues in 2012-13

Civil servants previously working on nuclear issues

Nuclear Development Forum

The following people from DECC attended the Nuclear Development Forum in May 2012:

In November 2011 the attendees were:

Personnel under Labour until May 2010

  • Minister of State - Mike O'Brien MP
  • Minister of State - Lord Hunt of Kings Heath OBE (jointly with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs); and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords
  • Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State - Joan Ruddock MP

See also Civil Servants and their roles under Energy & Climate Change International in 2009



The DECC is also responsible for the Committee on Climate Change.



Contact details, Resources, Notes


Head Office

  • Address: 3 Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2HH
  • Phone: General enquiries: 0300 060 4000
  • Email:
  • Fax:
  • Website:

External Resources


  1. DECC Who we are, undated, accessed 12 October 2012
  2. DECC New Nuclear, undated, accessed 12 October 2012
  3. DECC Office for Nuclear Development, undated, accessed 12 October 2012
  4. DECC Department of Energy and Climate Change, Page last modified: 16 October 2008, Page published: 3 October 2008
  5. Rob Edwards, Revealed: British government's plan to play down Fukushima, The Guardian, 30 June 2011
  6. Richard Cookson, Nuclear industry secondments to Government departments responsible for policy and regulation, Spinwatch, 22 February 2013
  7. DECC Who we are, undated, accessed 12 October 2012
  8. [ Jonathan Marland profile], TheyWorkForYou, undated, accessed 12 October 2012
  9. [ Charles Hendy profile], TheyWorkForYou, undated, accessed 12 October 2012
  10. DECC corporate organogram, DECC, undated, accessed 12 October 2012
  11. DECC Organogram, available at, accessed 4 June 2012
  12. Nuclear Development Forum Attendees, DECC, 15 May 2012
  13. Nuclear Development Forum Attendees, DECC, 27 October 2011
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