All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. The APPG for the Polar Regions is chaired by James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire and long term polar advocate and its members are Members of Parliament and of the House of Lords with an interest in the Polar Regions.
Topics of interest for the group include but are not limited to:
The APPG for the Polar Regions Exists to;
- Keep the UK Parliament informed about the polar regions and polar activities
- To be a non-political source of information, advice and knowledge for the UK Parliament and UK Parliamentarians
- To advocate for greater UK involvement and interest in polar research, polar governance and polar environments
The APPG hosts regular meetings and events in Parliament, some of which are open to non-Parliamentarians, on a very broad range of issues. The group also conducts overseas expeditions to the polar regions to ensure Parliamentarians meet and understand the communities that live there, the issues that impact them and the political landscape. It also gives Parliamentarians the opportunity to understand why the Polar Regions are such unique environments and why they need protecting.
Please see an our year in review for an overview of our activities.
James has been a passionate advocate for the Polar Regions and the UK’s continued active presence in both the Arctic and Antarctic since visiting the Northern Arctic for the first time with Sir David Hempleman-Adams. This led him to set up the APPG for the Polar Regions in 2015, which he continues to Chair as well founding the Antarctic Parliamentarians Association and being a consistent and prominent voice in Parliament on all polar matters. https://www.jamesgray.org/index.php/about-james
Jamie has spent the last 20 years travelling and working in the Polar Regions. Having specialised in responding to remote and complex disaster zones around the world for the past 12 years, Jamie has spent the last five years specialising in polar and cold weather operations. Jamie has led projects with all of the Arctic Nations Coastguard Agencies, including the USCG as well as the British Antarctic Survey, focussing on managing operational risk and responding to crisis events in polar environments. A former Royal Marine, Jamie has led expeditions across the Arctic and was part of the RSS Sir David Attenborough’s ice trials and first voyage to Antarctica in 2022.
Amy is currently completing the final year of her PhD at Loughborough University, studying High Arctic climate and environmental change in Svalbard. Her longstanding passion for the environment led her to pursue a career in academia with a Natural Sciences degree from the University of Cambridge and a first-class MSc in Global Environmental Change from the University of Leicester. She has also spent time as a freelance black bear researcher in British Columbia, Canada. Prior to her PhD, and her role at the APPG, Amy served as a policy adviser at the National Farmers’ Union for 7 years, representing the U.K. at a national and EU level. Amy is the creative mind behind the weekly Polar News roundup, Polar Notes and the APPG’s social media channels.