‘AI will transform the civil service’: Five minutes with Jeremy Pocklington, the UK’s energy security and net zero permanent secretary

By on 12/03/2024 | Updated on 12/03/2024

Jeremy Pocklington, permanent secretary in the UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, discusses new business models for green investment, technology and the future of the civil service, and more.

This is part of a ‘Five minutes’ series featuring speakers from the forthcoming Global Government Forum Innovation conference (London, 19-20 March). At the event, Pocklington will participate in a session on sustainability in government and how governments can reduce the carbon emissions of their work – and their countries.

What are you most interested in discussing at Innovation 2024?

Celebrating the contribution the public sector can make to achieving net zero through the effective management of its estate.

What drew you to a career in the civil service?
I enjoy supporting governments to achieve their objectives to help the UK grow and succeed.

How might the civil service be different in 25 years’ time?
The forthcoming AI and digital revolution is going to transform the civil service.

What do you like most about working in the civil service?
The ability to have impact and make a positive difference.

Read more: ‘Listen, learn and speak your mind’: Five minutes with Henriikka Tammes from Finland’s finance ministry

Which country’s civil service or which government department or agency are you most inspired by and why?

I studied for an MBA in Singapore and was very impressed by the quality and ambition of Singapore’s civil service.

Are there any projects or innovations in your country that might be valuable to your peers overseas? 

The business models that we are developing to support inward investment in the low carbon economy are world-leading and could be deployed more elsewhere.

What is your dream holiday destination?

Anywhere with mountains and sunshine! I particularly like the Dolomites in Italy.

What is your favourite book?

I read a lot of political biographies, so anything by Robert Caro.

What’s your favourite thing to do at the weekends?

Walking in the countryside.

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