Tuesday 25 September 2018


James Thornton, CEO ClientEarth

Fighting to breathe: Holding the government to account on air quality

Clean air is essential for a healthy life. More than 400,000 early deaths are caused each year by air pollution in Europe.

Hear how the UK government is dealing with this public health crisis, why legal action has been necessary and how the government has responded, from James Thornton of ClientEarth. ClientEarth uses advocacy, litigation and research to address the greatest challenges of our time (including biodiversity loss, climate change, and toxic chemicals).

This event is mounted in connection with Somerset House and will take place in the magnificent setting of the Navy Board Rooms. During the event we will have the opportunity to get up close to – and meet the creator of – the Choropleth flag.

James Thornton

James Thornton is the CEO of ClientEarth, Europe’s first public interest environmental law organisation, which he founded in 2007.

He is an environmental lawyer and social entrepreneur. A member of the bars of New York, California and the Supreme Court of the United States, and a solicitor of England and Wales. The New Statesman has named him as one of 10 people who could change the world.

He is the author of an environmental legal thriller, Immediate Harm and a volume of poetry on science and the environment, The Feynman Challenge. He is a Conservation Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a fellow of the Ashoka Foundation and a Yale graduate.

Created by T H E U N S E E N, a material craft and innovation studio, the Choropleth flag has been flying above Somerset House since Earth Day 2018. The flag changes daily according to the amount of UV radiation reaching it which is, in turn, affected by ozone depletion in the atmosphere.