Tony Juniper to leave FoE


I don’t imagine it will be too long before Tony Juniper lands a top new job which will enable him to continue promoting green issues.

The Friends of the the Earth will find him a hard act to follow after he steps down as director from the green group later this year.

I am very surprised that he chose to announce he was quitting in the Mail on Sunday rather than via his regular Guardian comment is free blog.

However, he uses it as a cathartic moment to recap his 18 years at FoE, the challenges he has had to overcome, constantly slogging away with the same message, often falling on deaf ears. He slams the Labour government for being “cowardly and lacking in vision”, despite their eco-rhetoric.

“The Government is terrified of saying anything that will upset business or the electorate. We can do a lot as individuals, but it is laws that will make a real difference – and this Government is bigger on talk than it is on action.

“Persuading families to use less energy, cut pollution and generate less waste need not be a problem if done in the right way. Saving money, having warmer homes, safer streets and better health can all be part of a greener society. We need politicians with the leadership skills to tackle the environment crisis – inspiring figures with the vision to persuade people that protecting the planet needn’t threaten our comfort.”

These changes are never going to happen overnight, publics still need convincing about climate change. Instead of relying too much on celebrity endorsement which Tony recommends, I would like to see more ordinary people demonstrate how they are making these environmental adjustments. Let’s have some webcams and video blogs from Tony’s own home, as well as Prince Charles’, who he praises for his consistent support; these can be used to educate, inform and persuade.

I have heard of a German MEP who is a farmer and converts his sugar beet into biofuels which he uses for his own vehicles. Let’s hear more examples like this, living proof of what can be done, and how.


  1. He’ll probably be given a job by Cameron.

  2. Maalie, we expect a government to lead and they need to engage the public and lead by example on environmental issues, to demonstrate globally, as well as nationally, how important it is.

  3. The problem with environmental policies that a government (of any colour) has to make unpopular decisions that will outlive the 5-year term of a government and are therefore scared about introducing them for not getting re-elected.

    Maybe a “fee vote” on environmental policies would help, then no particular party could be accused of introducing unpopular policies.

  4. I’m sure Tony has done a good job – but I’m afraid Charlie rabbiting on about it when he’s got all those palaces makes me want to throw up.


  1. Ellee Seymour - MCIPR, PRESS CONSULTANT, JOURNALIST, POLITICAL AND PR BLOGGER. » A unique political moment marked by Prince Charles - [...] It’s really very passionate and well informed and I can fully understand why Tony Juniper has applauded the Prince…

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