LONDON (Reuters) - George Eustice will become environment secretary in the new government led by Prime Minister Theresa May, tasked with preserving the 2015 climate change commitments made by her predecessor and campaigning to end the “age of fossil fuels”.
The conservative-led government on Monday said Eustice, a member of May’s top team, will take charge of Defra, the Environment Agency and departments dealing with national parks and monuments.
Eustice has been housing minister since November, and has been tipped as a potential successor to May herself or possibly to Conservative veteran William Hague.
He has also been a minister for the disabled and an MP since 2015.
Before entering politics, Eustice was the finance manager at a garden centre. He wrote a travel guide for schools on why getting kids to school was better if it was in nature.
In 2014, Eustice wrote a column for a local newspaper about whether it was ethical to fly around the world because there was a risk of getting a disease from animals on a wildlife reserve.
“I have spent hundreds of sleepless nights worrying about whether I could contract and spread diseases to people I met,” he wrote at the time.
In his new job, Eustice will be working closely with energy minister Andrea Leadsom, who now has the brief of eliminating the UK’s reliance on foreign oil and gas.