ClientEarth – CEO Update

Until 2007, Europe lacked a vital tool to defend nature and combat climate change. Using law to protect the environment was a common concept in the United States but had not taken root over the Atlantic. ClientEarth changed that.

In the years since, much has happened, all of it demonstrating the power of the law to protect people and nature. Our staff has grown to 200, with offices in London, Brussels, Berlin, Warsaw and Beijing. Our work has flourished. Some examples:

  • We’ve stopped a generation of new coal fired power plants in Europe, and are closing existing plants down.
  • We’re working to reduce plastics use and exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • We’re protecting threatened birds and mammals across Europe.
  • We’ve won cases to clean up our air, first in the UK, now all across Europe.
  • We’re working in five African countries with NGOs and local experts, to protect the rights of forest dependent communities.
  • We helped write the EU fisheries law. Now we’re enforcing it—so there will be fish in the sea for future generations.
  • We’ve protected the most important primeval forest in Europe—Poland’s Bialowieza—from illegal logging.
  • In China, we’ve trained more than 1500 environmental judges and prosecutors. They have brought more than 100,000 legal challenges against polluting companies and government actors who were not upholding the law.

These are just a few headlines. And much more needs doing. What we’ve accomplished so far is based on two things: the talent and passion of the team that has joined me in this work and the support from our network.

James Thornton
Founder and CEO

We force businesses and governments to deliver on their environmental obligations. We help to draft more robust, ambitious laws. We propose scientifically sound policies and solutions to protect rights and resources in the first place.