Oxford, 28 July 2009. On the afternoon of Monday 27 July, international environmental charity Earthwatch were delighted to welcome the Right Honourable Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, to the Europe Regional Climate Centre at Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire.
“During his hour long visit, the Minister and his entourage chatted to Earthwatch staff and the current team of ‘Climate Champions’ from HSBC about their involvement in the HSBC Climate Partnership and the research being undertaken at the Climate Centre by Earthwatch in collaboration with Oxford University research partners WildCRU, ECI and CEH
Nigel Winser, Executive Vice President of Earthwatch says “Earthwatch staff were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband to our Regional Climate Centre here in Oxfordshire. Mr Miliband was genuinely interested in the international research we are undertaking on climate change and forestry through the HSBC Climate Partnership. His interest in the personal journey that the HSBC Climate Champions make and how they will help drive change towards more sustainable business practice within the bank was clear.”
The visit began, with the Minister pulling on wellies and walking to the forest research site. He was joined by Hannah Rooley, Earthwatch Regional Program Manager and Dr Monowar Khalid, Field Director, who discussed the global impacts of the partnership with Mr Miliband. The minister was keen to hear about the research aims of the project.
On his arrival back at the Climate Centre, Mr Miliband was greeted by Earthwatch’s Nigel Winser, Executive Vice President and James Campbell, Global Head of HSBC Climate Partnership, as well as HSBC’s Nigel Pate, Senior Manager, Environmental Community Investment.
The Minister then sat with the eleven HSBC Climate Champions who are currently at the centre and joined in a discussion about the forest research in which they are taking part, how the program is impacting them as individuals, and the wider role of business to take a lead in a low carbon world. The Champions – from UK, Pakistan, Malta and Armenia - quizzed Mr Miliband on transport priorities, the up-coming Copenhagen climate change summit, and the challenges of tackling climate change in the developing world.
The HSBC Climate Partnership is a five year global partnership between HSBC, The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and WWF to reduce the impacts of climate change for people, forests, water and cities.