John Frederick Scowcroft


Husband and father

In May 2022, as John was crossing the road to his flat in London, he died suddenly from a heart attack. He will be greatly missed by his wife Joëlle, his children Henry and Juliane, and by everyone who knew him. We are encouraging those who knew John to donate to Cancer Research UK in his memory, via this link:


A gallery of the fondest memories captured throughout the years. Relive those cherished moments in time or add your special memories of John to the gallery.

  • COP in Nairobi

    - Nick

  • Nairobi - John got out to take a photo and a baboon joined Ulrika in the van (John's comment "I don't know which of them was more scared!")

    - Nick

  • - Nick

  • Another retirement for John (Durban)

    - Nick

  • Documents (but where?)

    - Nick

  • Business - closing day at Copenhagen

    - Nick

  • Bali (between meetings)

    - Nick

  • Bali (I think)

    - Nick

  • Bali bikes

    - Nick

  • Bonn - One of John's retirements

    - Nick

  • COP-21

    - Nick

  • Maison Arabe Marrakech

    - Nick

  • I worked with John between 2013 and 2016, he was a joy to be around. He was invariably kind, patient, willing to go the extra mile and he was always exceedingly good company. I am sure my eye will always look for him at future COPs, he was a wonderful man and I was so sad to hear of his passing. My sympathies to his friends and family.

    - Andrew

  • John and the Long Time Climate negotiations regulars at the Fiji COP in Bonn, November 17, 2017

    - Lisa

  • Dinner in Paris

    - Jonathan

  • This photo of John Scowcroft, Jeff Swartz, Nick Campbell, Phillipe Chaveau and Dirk Forrister was taken the night international negotiators adopted the Paris Climate Agreement at COP 21. John was a beloved leader of progressive businesses working to protect the earth from global warming. He always offered wise counsel, kind words and good humor. We were part of his COP family. We'll remember him fondly - and promise to remember him with red wine at every COP! Love and best wishes.

    - Dirk

Memories & stories

  • Always with a twinkle in his eye

    I have wonderful memories of Eurelectric Power Summits and the IES with John. Last week was quite poignant as I sat working out the VIP tables for our summit dinner. A job I would always do with John, he knew exactly who should sit with who and would always throw in an outlier just to shake things up. That was John, a gentleman, ready to listen, help, advise and always with a twinkle in his eye! RIP dear John.

    - Emily

  • Eulogy at John's Funeral Part 5

    Even after he retired from EURELECTRIC John continued to work advocating, round the world and at UN Climate Change meetings, the potential of and the need for Carbon Capture and Storage. He was well respected by those who worked for and with him and he leaves many friends. He leaves a long lasting legacy in that it is now accepted worldwide that electrification is a major solution to combat climate change. I am proud to have known him and to have worked alongside him.

    - Bill

  • Eulogy at John's Funeral Part 3

    John worked effectively in industry and EU meetings in Brussels, in international fora such as the UN Climate Change meetings and conferences where he was a tireless advocate of the role of electricity and emissions trading and where he won the respect of many. He was also a driving force in overcoming opposition and getting climate change high up on the agenda at the biennial global Chief Executives Electricity Summit.

    - Bill

  • Eulogy at John's Funeral Part 3

    We worked together in EURELECTRIC to convince the leaders of our industry to be more pro-active and that climate change was not a threat but an opportunity with electricity the solution rather than the problem and that emissions trading was the best tool for the EU to use to reduce its emissions. John orchestrated a number of effective trading simulations to show that emissions trading was both feasible and effective. These simulations paved the way for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

    - Bill

  • Eulogy at John's Funeral Part 2

    In 1997 UNIPEDE amalgamated with its daughter EURELECTRIC in Brussels. John was hugely influential in changing the vast, staid, bureaucratic, inward looking UNIPEDE into the leaner, focussed, outward looking, more effective EURELECTRIC. John was one of the few early pioneers who recognised the importance of climate change and the impact that it would have on the power sector.

    - Bill

  • Eulogy at John's Funeral Part 1

    I have known and worked with John for over 30 years. He was a pleasure to know as a friend and to work with. John started his career in the power industry at the Electricity Council where he honed his persuasive skills negotiating with some very hard-nosed trade union leaders. These skills were to serve him well in his later career. Later John joined UNIPEDE in Paris as Head of the Environment Unit which is where I first met him.

    - Bill

  • John was a great friend and colleague. Always calm and always had a story from his past to tell :) He taught me more than he could ever have known. The world is not as nice a place following his passing. I, we all, will miss him (and he would have checked this sentence to ensure that it was grammatically correct!). Condolences to his family.

    - Nick

  • UNFCCC observer

    It was always a delight to see John, often with Nick, at the back of the negotiating room. And an even greater delight to share a dinner afterwards, with a nice bottle of wine! John's witty yet gentle remarks on the ongoing drama were spot on, and helped a stressed civil servant put things into perspective. He will be missed.

    - Karoliina

  • Thank you for paying it forward, John!

    I have had the pleasure of knowing John for many years and also had the honor sharing an office with him during my period with the GCCSI in Brussels back in 2016. John was always friendly, helpful and kind and I owe him great thanks for the friendship and all the guidance and support over the years. I will always remember John’s humor and witty comments, and I will look back at sharing breakfast and a laugh with John in the wee hours in the office with great fondness. Rest in peace, John!

    - Ingvild

  • It is with great sorrow that I have received the news of the passing of Mr. Scowcroft. When I had responsivities of international affairs including IES, he was very pleased and gave me very warm message.He had recognized that there was no woman in my association who was able to have such a responsible work. Since then, he had supported me and given valuable advices to me. I am here because of his strong support. Thank again his strong support and I have never forget his gentle smile.

    - Hiroko

  • Climate Champion

    My last memory of John is very much the same as my first. Always generous with his knowledge and wisdom, with his warmth and willingness to welcome new friends and colleagues to drive positive climate action, and of course a deliciously wicked and wonderful sense of humour. "Thank you" seems and feels too small a phrase. He will be missed.

    - Justin

  • A great source of inspiration

    I had the privilege to work for John during my time in Eurelectric. I remember, at the beginning, everyone was telling me: “You’re very lucky to work with John”. And they were absolutely right! John has been way more than just a boss: he’s been a true mentor and a great source of inspiration, both in my professional and personal life. Always available, always kind. And always ready to take you off-guard with one of his jokes. He’ll be truly missed.

    - Nicola

  • A key contributor to EU climate policy

    John was an enormous help when we were putting in place the EU’s greenhouse gas Emissions Trading System. This was Europe’s first specific climate measure. Emissions have fallen by a third since its beginning, and the electricity generation sector has been the major contributor. John is partly to be credited for this achievement. He was an unwavering support to those of us working on the file at the time & since. John supported what would make a difference, including CCS. He will be much missed.

    - Jos Delbeke, Yvon Slingenberg, Stefaan Vergote,

  • A true mentor

    I had the great pleasure of knowing John from our work at EURELECTRIC. He was my first boss and I learnt so much from him - from his kindness, guiding and mentorship. I remember so well his many English expressions and subtlety and I can for a fact say that my knowledge of both environmental and climate change issues as well as linguistics are much thanks to John. And not to mention his wide network, which he so kindly let me be a part of. He will be truly missed.

    - Anna

  • Lost

    I first met John at COP5 Bonn. I recall the first words John said to me were something like: "You look a bit lost." I was. That was my first COP. He had been a good guide since those first words. Thank you, John.

    - Arthur

  • Dinner in Paris

    I went for dinner with John and Dirk towards the end of COP21 and I asked them to be 'grumpy old men' so that I could provide photo-evidence to my wife and kids that I wasn't having any fun! Somehow the bill came to 450 euros ... which might have been something to do with John's (3) wine selections. It was of course a great fun evening as always with John, and I will miss his good humour and wisdom.

    - Jonathan

  • A Tireless Advocate for Emissions Trading

    I have so many fond memories of John dating back to 1997 when I first met him at UNIPEDE that it’s difficult to pick just one. He was always generous with his time, insights and wisdom. John was a reliable colleague for dinner during meetings in far flung places across the globe from Songdo to Durban to Buenos Aires. Above all, he was a tireless and passionate advocate for an “all of the above” technology and market-based approach to addressing climate change. He will be sorely missed.

    - Abyd

  • On the way to Glasgow

    John (and Nick) were my mentors when starting to work in IETA's Brussels office in 2009. Over three years, John was my safe harbour, the man to turn to, the gentle voice who always knew an answer. In October 2021 our paths crossed again on the way to the COP, a stop-over in London. I encouraged him to write a book with his institutional memories of engaging over so many years on CO2, CCS, ETS and all the other abbreviations that he could explain so splendidly. I am very saddened about the loss.

    - Simone