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Farhana Yamin

Lawyer, author, speaker, and activist

Speaker website

Speaker Bio

Farhana is an internationally recognized environmental lawyer, climate change and development policy expert. She has advised leaders and ministers on UN climate negotiations for 30 years, representing small islands and developing countries and attending nearly every major climate summit since 1991. She is a Director of Impatience Ltd and runs the Climate Justice and Just Transition Donor Collaborative which brings together some of the world’s largest climate philanthropies to shift power and resources to frontline communities to create climate solutions that also tackle systemic inequalities. She is an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford University, a Senior Advisor to SYSTEMIQ, a FRSA and Visiting Professor, University of the Arts, London, as well as deputy chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum expert advisory group. She was voted Number 2 on the 2020 BBC’s Power List with the judges describing her a “powerhouse of climate justice” and is active in numerous community-based initiatives and social justice movements. She trained as an outdoor education leader and has completed a number of courses on nature connection, including how to support racialized minorities to access & enjoy green spaces. She works part time at the Doc Society coordinating the Climate Reframe Project which seeks to amplify the voice of climate activists and experts from racialized minorities in the UK environment movement.

From 2013 – 2018, she was an Advisor to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and advisor of the Expert Group of Advisors to the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a coalition of 55 of the world’s most vulnerable countries, that played a key role in the 2015 Paris Agreement negotiations. The campaigning NGO she founded, Track 0, is widely credited with getting the goal of net zero emissions by mid-century into the Paris Agreement through strategic communications and behind the scenes political and diplomatic coalition-building. She has worked with larger developing countries on climate and development policy issues including China, India, South Africa and Brazil. As an academic, she has published numerous books and articles on the intersection of climate change & social justice. At the Glasgow UN Climate Summit (COP26), she was an advisor to the Government of Bangladesh who led the Climate Vulnerable Forum and worked behind the scenes with climate justice activists, Indigenous Peoples, the Scottish Government and foundations which resulted in an historic first commitment to funding loss and damage in the Global South.

She has taught in UK universities for 30 years including as a Visiting Professor at University College London and now at UAL. She stepped back from UN negotiations in 2018 to focus on non-violent civil disobedience and social justice movements. As Political Coordinator of Extinction Rebellion for a year, she played a key role in XR April 2019 protests, glueing herself to the Shell HQ offices in London, alongside thousands of other activists. She is a champion of community-based action and is Chair of Bigbury Net-Zero, Devon, and also co-founded Camden Think and Do to experiment with radical inclusion and concepts of social & spatial justice by supporting communities to create “pop up” action hubs in urban and rural settings.  She has served as trustee or an advisor to several organisations’ working on the intersection of social, racial and ecological justice including Greenpeace UK, Julie’s Bicycle, WWF-UK and Tate Modern.

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