James Thornton is the founding CEO of ClientEarth, an environmental charity using the law to create powerful change that protects life on earth. In this Spotlight Talk, James will share his insights into what it will take to align policy and practical goals in order to achieve a Green Recovery that truly changes the social and economic systems which damage the climate. In the post-pandemic economy, what will it take to ensure economic growth does not come at the cost of climate commitments? What sort of conditions should be built into recovery packages to ensure the UK remains resilient in the face of impending climate crises?

James launched ClientEarth in 2007, sparking fundamental change in the way environmental protections are made and enforced across Europe. Now operating globally, ClientEarth uses advocacy, litigation and research to address the greatest challenges of our time – including nature loss and climate change.

The New Statesman has named James as one of 10 people who could change the world. The Lawyer has picked him as one of the top 100 lawyers in the UK. In 2016, he was named as one of the 1,000 most influential people in London. He has twice won Leader of the Year at the Business Green Awards. The Financial Times awarded him its Special Achievement accolade at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards.

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Event for: Business professionals and individuals with an interest in Sustainability | Responsible Business | Environment | Climate Change | Net Zero | Climate Policy


  • James Thornton

    Founding CEO, ClientEarth

Round Tables

  • Our Green Recovery Festival Spotlight Talks will feature a speaker presentation followed by an audience Q&A. These events do not include roundtables.


  • 14:00 - 14:05
    Welcome and introductions
  • 14:05 - 14:30
    Opening presentation by James Thornton
  • 14:30 - 14:55
    Audience Q&A
  • 14:55 - 15:00
    Closing remarks

Venue Details

The Green Recovery Festival events will be hosted online.

Who's Attending


Guestlist to be confirmed.