News story

Appointment of Dieter Helm as Chair of Natural Capital Committee (NCC)

Professor Dieter Helm has today been reappointed as Chair of the Natural Capital Committee.


Professor Dieter Helm has today been reappointed as Chair of the Natural Capital Committee.

The Natural Capital Committee was established in 2012 to provide expert, independent advice to Government on the state of England’s natural capital. The Committee met its terms of reference in full, and the first phase of the Committee ended on 30 September. The new Natural Capital Committee will be vital in driving forward the next stage of this work, a more practical implementation phase. This will involve helping develop the 25-year environment plan to embed the use of open data, tools and techniques for local decision-makers to use to improve England’s natural capital.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Elizabeth Truss said:

Professor Helm’s continued expertise and leadership will drive forward the valuable work of the Natural Capital Committee.

Our understanding of natural capital and the importance of open data in driving improvements to our environment has increased significantly under his first term as chair and we look forward to building on this work.

The recruitment of new Committee members for the NCC will be advertised on the Cabinet Office public appointments portal this week. We are looking for experts and leaders from a range of fields to join the Committee, advising Government on the development of the 25-year environment plan and how we can most effectively use the concept of natural capital to drive better informed decisions at all levels.

The appointment has been made by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Biographical details of Dieter Helm

Dieter Helm is an economist specialising in utilities, infrastructure, regulation and the environment, and concentrating on the energy, water, communications and transport sectors primarily in Britain and Europe. He is a Professor at the University of Oxford, a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and a Professorial Research Fellow of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.

During 2011, Dieter assisted the European Commission in preparing the Energy Roadmap 2050, serving both as a special advisor to the European Commissioner for Energy and as Chairman of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on the Roadmap. He also assisted the Polish government in their presidency of the European Union Council.

Dieter’s recent books include The Carbon crunch: how we are getting climate change wrong and how to fix it (Revised and Updated) and Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet . Both books were published by Yale University Press in 2015. Nature in the Balance, edited with Cameron Hepburn, was published in early 2014 by Oxford University Press.

Previous appointments include: membership of the DTI’s Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board from 2002 to 2007, the Prime Minister’s Council of Science and Technology from 2004 to 2007, Chairman of the Academic Panel, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs until 2012, and the DTI’s Energy Advisory Panel from 1993 to 2003. Dieter served as Chair for the first phase on NCC from 2012 until September 2015.

Additional information

Dieter is an Associate Editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy. He is a director of Aurora Energy Research, a leading energy modelling company. Dieter is an Honorary Vice President of the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust. His career to date has spanned academia, public policy and business. He has published extensively on economic topics and provides independent advice to companies, public bodies and governments.

Published 9 December 2015