Friends of the Earth announces new charity Chair

27 Sep 2017
Friends of the Earth has announced their new charity Chair as former lawyer Frances Butler

Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has announced its new charity Chair as former lawyer Frances Butler. Previously the Chair of human rights organisation, Liberty, she has a background in campaigning and climate change advocacy, alongside a wealth of charity governance experience.

Frances joins the charity at a critical juncture in the fight for environmental action, with urgent issues like climate change, air pollution and destruction of the natural world already harming millions of people’s lives. She will guide the charity to deliver its ambitious strategy to make sure that the next generation enjoys a safer climate, flourishing nature, and healthy air, water and food.

Frances will replace outgoing Chair, Roger Clarke, whose 6 years at the helm saw successes in protecting Britain’s bees with a national pollinator strategy, defending our climate by campaigning for a 1.5 degree target in the Paris climate agreement and keeping the UK fracking-free for 6 years.

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth Chief Executive, said:

“At a time when the consequences of climate and wider environmental breakdown are becoming clearer than ever, but also when our freedom to campaign is being challenged, the urgency and importance of Friends of the Earth’s mission has never been more vital. Frances’ legal, governance and advocacy experience will be invaluable in guiding the charity to achieve its vision of a better, greener, more sustainable world.

“Throughout her career Frances has shown herself to be someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo to stand up for what’s right, a spirit echoed by Friends of the Earth.”

Frances Butler, new Friends of the Earth Trust Chair, said:

“It is a tremendous privilege to become Chair of Friends of the Earth Trust and I am thrilled to join the board of such an inspiring, effective and critically important organisation. As threats to our climate become more urgent, I share my new colleagues’ impatience for urgent action to protect our precious environment.

“I pay tribute to my predecessor, Roger Clarke, whose wisdom and judgement have helped ensure the good governance that Friends of the Earth requires to meet the challenges ahead.”

Roger Clarke, outgoing Friend of the Earth Trust Chair, said:

“I am delighted that Frances has been appointed. Her previous experience as Chair of Liberty demonstrates her commitment to a more just society, and her familiarity with campaigning will be of great value to Friends of the Earth. I wish her well, and hope that she enjoys the job as much as I have.”

Frances Butler will officially take over as Chair of Friends of the Earth Trust at the charity’s next board meeting on 3 November 2017.