Jonathon Espie Porritt, CBE (born 6 July 1950) is an English environmentalist and writer. Porritt appears frequently in the media, writing in magazines, newspapers and books, and appearing on radio and television regularly.

Early life and family backgroundEdit

He was born in London, and educated at Eton College and Magdalen College, Oxford. Despite training as a barrister, he decided to become an English teacher at St Clement Danes Grammar School (later Burlington Danes School) in Shepherd's Bush, west London in 1974.

Porritt is the son of Lord Porritt, 11th Governor-General of New Zealand. As well as receiving a non-hereditary life peerage, Lord Porritt had previously been awarded a baronetcy. Jonathon Porritt is entitled to claim the baronetcy, becoming The Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt, 2nd Baronet, but has so far declined to do so.[1] He has two daughters.[2]

Political and campaigning careerEdit

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Porritt was a prominent member of the Ecology Party. As chair of the UK Ecology Party (now the Green Party) from 1978 to 1984, he presided over changes that made the party much more prominent in elections. Under his stewardship, membership grew from a few hundred to around 3,000.

In 1984 his first book, Seeing Green, was published. In this year he also gave up teaching to become Director of Friends of the Earth in Britain, a post he held until 1990.

After the Greens achieved 15% of the European Parliamentary vote in 1989, he became a strong public advocate of change in the Green Party. In particular, he advocated a more professional organisation with identifiable leaders.[3]

He also backed the election of Cynog Dafis, the joint Plaid Cymru-Green MP for Ceredigion.[4]

With Sara Parkin and Paul Ekins he founded Forum for the Future in 1996, a sustainable development charity.

He has also supported the Forests Now Declaration, which calls for new market based mechanisms to protect tropical forests.

Current activitiesEdit

Porritt acts as advisor to many bodies on environmental matters, as well as to individuals including Prince Charles and Stuart Rose, the chief executive of Marks & Spencer, advising on that company's forward strategy. He is a board member of the South West of England Regional Development Agency and Wessex Water.[5]

Porritt is on the advisory board of BBC Wildlife magazine and actively supports the efforts of experts promoting renewable energy and sustainable development such as Walt Patterson. Since 2000, he has been chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, set up by the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. He has however been critical of the Labour government for its environmental record and its pro-nuclear stance. He is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust. A substantial re-write of his bestselling book Capitalism: As if the World Matters was published by Earthscan in September 2007. In July 2008 he became an honourary graduate of the University of Exeter.[6]





  • Perrement, Matt. “Interview with Jonathon Porritt: Sustainable development needs China.” chinadialogue. 2006-09-19. [2].
  • Porritt, Jonathon. “China could lead the fight for a cooler climate.” chinadialogue. 2007-11-13. [3]
  • Porritt, Jonathon. “China: the most important story in the world.” chinadialogue. 2006-09-18. [4].

See alsoEdit



External linksEdit

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