About Jonathan Espie Porritt, CBE
The Hon. Jonathon Espie Porritt, CBE
(born 6 July 1950), is a British 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 background
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 The Rt. Hon. The Lord Porritt, 11th Governor-General of New Zealand. Lord Porritt, who served as a senior officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War II, was also the bronze medalist in the Olympic Chariots of Fire 100 metres race. 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. He has two daughters.
Political and campaigning career
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. From 1993-1996 he chaired Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future then known as UNEP-UK.
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.
He also backed the election of Cynog Dafis, the joint Plaid Cymru-Green MP for Ceredigion.
With Sara Parkin and Paul Ekins he founded Forum for the Future in 1996, a sustainable development charity. In 1997 he was appointed the inaugural Chair of the incoming Labour government's Sustainable Development Commission from which he retired in September 2009.
He has also supported the Forests Now Declaration, which calls for new market based mechanisms to protect tropical forests.
In February 2009, Porritt stated that population growth is a serious threat to the global environment and that contraception, abortion and family planning is a part of the answer to global warming. He thinks that people should have no more than two children and if they do, they are being irresponsible.
He has been heavily criticised for what some are calling anti-family and communist-like comments.
When he founded Forum of the Future, Porritt withdrew from party politics to concentrate on his non-party political roles. In March 2009, Porritt spoke at the launch of the South West Green Party European Election campaign in Bristol, stating that he had always remained a member of the Green Party and that it was the correct time to reaffirm his support.
Since leaving the SDC, Porritt has publicly supported the report Prosperity Without Growth.
The Hon. Jonathon Porritt receiving an honorary degreePorritt acts as advisor to many bodies on environmental matters, as well as to individuals including Prince Charles. He is a board member of Wessex Water and Willmott Dixon and advises Marks & Spencer on its forward strategy.
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. He is a former Chair and current President of sustainable development charity Sustainability South West. From 2000 to 2009, he was chair of the Sustainable Development Commission set up by the prime minister, Tony Blair. He has, however, been critical of the Labour government for its environmental record and its pro-nuclear stance, and has campaigned against nuclear power.
He is a patron of Population Matters, (formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust). A substantial rewrite of his bestselling book Capitalism: As if the World Matters was published by Earthscan in September 2007. In 2000 he became an honorary graduate of the University of Sussex and in July 2008, he became an honorary graduate of the University of Exeter. On 9 February 2012 he became Chancellor of Keele University.
“I am unapologetic about asking people to connect up their own responsibility for their total environmental footprint and how they decide to procreate and how many children they think are appropriate,” “I think we will work our way towards a position that says that having more than two children is irresponsible. It is the ghost at the table. We have all these big issues that everybody is looking at and then you don’t really hear anyone say the ‘p’ word.” "The trust (OPT) will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably." "I've learned that the fate of the world's indigenous people lies in the fate of us all. And the reason is very simple. At the heart of today's so-called 'environmental crisis' is something profound and disturbing. We are simply not at one with the world in which we live, we are not 'true dwellers in the land', and behave for the most part as if we were just uncaring itinerants hanging around until we've used everything up and then moving on."  ArmsArms of Jonathon Porritt
Notes The arms of The Hon. Jonathon Porritt were originally granted to his father. They consist of:
Crest On a wreath Or and Gules, a dent Heraldic Antelope Gules armed Azure collared Or, holding a Torch of the last enflamed proper between two Fern Fronds Vert
Escutcheon Or, a serpent in bend vert between two lions' heads erased gules, on a chief of the last two swords points upwards in saltire of the first, between as many roses argent both surmounted by another gules barbed and seeded proper
Supporters On the dexter side an Eagle and on the sinister side a Tui Bird both proper
Motto Sapienter et fortiter ferre
Books Porritt, Jonathon (1984). Seeing Green: the politics of ecology explained. ISBN 0-631-13893-5. Porritt, Jonathon (1994). The "Reader's Digest" Good Beach Guide. Porritt, Jonathon (1995). Liberty and Sustainability: Where One Person's Freedom is Another's Nuisance. Porritt, Jonathon (2000). Playing Safe: Science and the Environment (Prospects for Tomorrow). Porritt, Jonathon (2004). Making the Net Work: Sustainable Development in a Digital Society. Porritt, Jonathon (2005, revised 2007). Capitalism: As if the World Matters.
Hilton, Isabel and Jonathon Porritt. "Sustainable development's 'taboo territory.'" chinadialogue. 2007-05-30. Perrement, Matt. "Interview with Jonathon Porritt: Sustainable development needs China." chinadialogue. 2006-09-19. Porritt, Jonathon. "China could lead the fight for a cooler climate." chinadialogue. 2007-11-13. Porritt, Jonathon. "China: the most important story in the world." chinadialogue. 2006-09-18.  See alsoEnvironmentalism Forum for the Future Green Party of England and Wales Institute for Corporate Culture Affairs Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future Sustainable Development Commission Sustrans
1.^ Baronetage website 2.^ Who's who 3.^ 'Porritt urges streamlining of leadership system', Financial Times, 23 September 1989 4.^ Article by John Morrisey 5.^ a b c Templeton, Sarah-Kate (2009-02-01). "Two children should be limit says green guru". The Times (London). http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/families/article5627634.ece. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 6.^ Blog Post by Jonathon Porritt 7.^ John Vidal (10 April 2012). "Vicious words mark the war between pro and anti-nuclear environmentalists". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/apr/10/war-nuclear-environmentalists-vicious. 8.^ Exeter.ac.uk 9.^ Keele University Announces New Chancellor, 10 November 2011 10.^ Leake, Jonathon; Montague, Brendan (2009-03-22). "UK population must fall to 30m says Porritt". The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5950442.ece. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 11.^ Eede, Joanna (2009). We are One: A Celebration of Tribal Peoples. Quadrille Publishing. ISBN 1844007294.
Biography Sustainable Development Commission - profile of Jonathon Porritt. Blog Audio recording of Oct 25, 2007 talk at the RSA on Capitalism as if the world matters Profile: Jonathon Porritt Women.timesonline.co.uk Jonathon Porritt RIBA Zero Carbon debate 2009(video) The Burntwood Lecture 2010: The Growth Fetish and the Death of Environmentalism (video) Baronetage of the United Kingdom Preceded by Arthur Porritt Baronet (of Hampstead) Since 1994 unproven incumbent Succeeded by -