James Smith, who joined Shell in 1983 serving as chairman for seven years up until retiring this year, was appointed to the Carbon Trust board in September last year.

Mr Smith joins the organisation at an interesting time with a 40%, or around £50m, funding gap left by Government spending cuts.

The appointment is with immediate effect, replacing Sir Ian McAllister who steps down after ten years as chairman.

Mr Smith said: “The talented people in the Carbon Trust make a vital contribution to the development of a low carbon economy.

“They see the power of the market, coupled with smart policy, as the best route to cost effective, low carbon technologies. In addition to tackling climate change, the extraordinary work of the Carbon Trust provides a stimulus for economic growth.”

Luke Walsh

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