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RSSJonathon Porritt

Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder and Programme Director of Forum for the Future, is an eminent writer, broadcaster and commentator on sustainable development. Established in 1996, Forum for the Future is now the UK’s leading sustainable development charity, with 70 staff and over 100 partner organisations, including some of the world’s leading companies.Jonathon was appointed by the Prime Minister as Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in July 2000. This is the Government’s principal source of independent advice across the whole sustainable development agenda. In addition, he has been a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency since December 1999, and is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales’s Business and Environment Programme which runs Senior Executives’ Seminars in Cambridge, Salzburg, South Africa and the USA. In 2005 he became a Non-Executive Director of Wessex Water, and a Trustee of the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. He is also Vice-President of the Socialist Environment Resources Association (SERA).

He was formerly Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90); co-chair of the Green Party (1980-83) of which he is still a member; chairman of UNED-UK (1993-96); chairman of Sustainability South West, the South West Round Table for Sustainable Development (1999-2001); a Trustee of WWF UK (1991-2005).

Blog posts by Jonathon Porritt

New Commitments from Palm Oil Companies

September 19th, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

There was an important development on the palm oil front yesterday.• Back in January, five of the big palm oil producers (including Sime Darby, one of Forum For The Future’s Partner companies), plus Unilever, issued the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto.• One of the commitments in the Manifesto was to ...

Philanthropists and Foundations: Getting Their Climate Act Together

September 17th, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

On Monday, a whole page ad appeared in the International New York Times, calling on the world’s philanthropic Trusts and Foundations to start getting their act together on climate change. This is what it said:“Aghast that the Earth is heading for 4 to 6 degrees Celsius of global warming, given current ...

Population: Passing on the Baton

September 12th, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

I’ve been tracking the population debate for the best part of 40 years. So how come I’d never heard of Professor Albert Bartlett before?Al Bartlett died last year, at the age of 90, after a lifetime teaching Physics at the University of Colorado, and strenuously advocating zero population growth and environm...

A Solar Revolution - the positive impact of solar power around the world

September 9th, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

One of the very first big pieces of research that Forum for the Future conducted was for BP in the late 1990s, looking at the prospects for the growth of solar PV in the UK; BP had its own solar business in those days. Prospects were good, we argued, just depending on the speed with which costs in manufa...

Pity the Prime Minister in his Energy Confusion

September 5th, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

I’m always rather heartened by the fact that the Prime Minister takes his holidays in Cornwall – for the simple reason that at least once a year he gets to see wind turbines in action, happily churning around (as they do most of the time in Cornwall) without so much as UKIP zealot to be seen for mile...

What does ‘Zero Deforestation’ mean to you?

September 4th, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

This is not a trick question. But it sure as hell is a tricky question! As evidenced by a very mischievous article by Ben Webster in The Times today making out that I had just launched new campaign to cut down what’s left of the world’s rainforests just as quickly as possible!read more...

The Nuclear Industry Today: Declining but not Dying

August 26th, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

Every year, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report reminds me why those in the Green movement who think nuclear has a major role to play in securing a low-carbon world are completely, dangerously off their collective more...

Different Visions Of The Future

August 21st, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

I’ve just finished reading a little tract by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway called “The Collapse of Western Civilisation: a View from the Future”. Not a very cheery title! And a deeply depressing take on where we are today in terms of both politics and the science of climate change.And that’s obviousl...

California, Drought and some Crazy Politics

August 18th, 2014 by Jonathon Porritt

There’s this crazy American billionaire called Tim Draper, who’s currently spending tens of billions of dollars on raising signatures amongst the voters of California to hold a referendum on splitting their state in 6 – in effect, to add another five states to the existing 50 states. So far he claim...