Tributes paid to former Decc advisor David Mackay

Former chief scientific advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc), Sir David Mackay, has passed away at the age of 48.

Former chief scientific advisor to Decc, David MacKayFormer chief scientific advisor to Decc, David MacKay

He had been diagnosed with stomach cancer and was being treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

Mackay served as chief scientific advisor to Decc between 2009 and 2014, and in 2013 was appointed regius professor of engineering at his alma mater, Cambridge University. He was also widely known for his 2008 book ‘Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air’.

Energy secretary Amber Rudd said: “David was the model of a scientist in government; challenging, insightful and with the ability to explain the most complex subjects in a clear way.

“His legacy, including the 2050 calculator now emulated across the world and his brilliant book on sustainable energy, was deservedly recognised by a knighthood earlier this year. His ideas and arguments will continue to influence how we deal with climate change.”

Former Labour party leader Ed Miliband said he was a “passionate, original, brave” and “a truly good man”.

Former energy secretary Ed Davey described his death as a “tragic loss”, saying he was “one of the UK’s most brilliant men” who had “shaped key green policies” through his work with Decc.

Environmental campaigner and Labour peer Baroness Worthington said he was a “brilliant man” who “left this world he was having such an impact on far too soon”.

RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal said “David Mackay made a huge contribution to our debate on energy, helping increase understanding about what was possible and the different trade-offs.

“He worked hard to make the vital debate on our energy future a responsible one and he gave us important tools like the energy calculator to allow everybody to contribute. We all need to continue to push for a sustainable energy future without the hot air”.

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