Sustainability Ninja Exits
UK Green party member, adviser and Treasury antagonist Jonathan Porritt, 59, has left his post as chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) after nine years “trying to crash the gears of the machine of state”. When Porritt started in 2000, the SDC was a titchy £350,000-a-year operation with a unique licence to be independent, provoke, criticise and scrutinise government as a “critical friend”. But it has since grown into the government’s “most authoritative and provocative quango and has challenged it on everything from climate to roads, equality, housing, economics, consumption and health.” “The watchdog role, especially, has been impossible for governments to ignore. Whitehall is a heaving bureaucracy and you make it work for you,” he says, “only by making its systems friendly to sustainable development.” Porritt is the son of New Zealand’s 11th Governor General and Olympic bronze winning athlete Arthur Porritt.