It has been a tumultuous time for nature in the UK with many of the existing legal protections for species and habitats coming under threat. To kick off our new series we speak to Natalie Bennett, Green Member of the House of Lords and former leader of the Green Party and Karla Hill, Associate Director at think tank E3G and former Director of Programmes at Client Earth about the relationship between climate and politics. Will the cost of living and energy crises push the agenda for nature protection right out of the frame? Will climate and nature be the defining issue in the next election? Amanda also talks to Planet Pod Executive Producer Jim Haywood for a new segment reflecting on the natural world and exploring innovations in science and technology that will help us restore the balance.
Natalie Bennett (or Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle for really formal occasions) became the second Green Member of the House of Lords in 2019, having been party leader from 2012-2016. She is unusual in politics in that her first degree was in science (agricultural) and she can get very geeky about soil science. She has been a feminist since age five, and spent two years working for the Thai National Commission on Women’s Affairs as a volunteer.
Karla Hill is associate director for political economy and governance at climate change think tank E3G. At E3G she is responsible for political economy and governance areas and contributes to the leadership and management of the organisation. She also acts as a convenor of London Climate Action Week, bringing together leaders, institutions, professionals and communities to harness the connectivity of London for global climate action. She was previously global programmes counsel at environmental law group ClientEarth, and started her career in private legal practice and in the UK government. Originally from New Zealand, she holds law and geography degrees and practised as a qualified lawyer in New Zealand and England. She has 20 years’ professional experience on the environment, climate change, and energy law and policy and served on the board of Greener UK, a coalition of 13 major UK environmental organisations between 2016 and 2020.