Litigation is a “form of combat” to help protect the planet, says CEO

ClientEarth CEO James Thornton has described litigation as a “sophisticated form of combat.”

His remarks were made in an engaging high-profile interview for the Financial Times.

The not-for-profit law group is engaged in a renewed legal action against the UK government over air quality and is due to return to the High Court in London soon.

It follows a victory at the Supreme Court last year when the government was ordered to draw up new plans to bring the UK into line with EU pollution limits.

The 62-year old founder and chief executive of the environmental law organisation, which is based at London Fields in East London,  was asked by reporter Tim Smedley whether he’d ever lost a case.

“There will always be cases we lose, it is inevitable in litigation. Since litigation is a sophisticated form of combat you will never win every fight,” said Mr Thornton.

Last weekend, the CEO told campaigners at a rally in Whitehall that he was confident ClientEarth would win in the latest legal battle against the UK government.

ClientEarth uses the law as a tool in order to help protect people and the planet.

This week, the new London mayor Sadiq Khan praised ClientEarth for holding the UK government to account with its court challenges.

City Hall has said the mayor will join the renewed legal action as an “interested party.”

During the interview, Mr Thornton also restated ClientEarth’s opposition to Britain leaving the EU.

He said:”The UK’s environment is much better protected by being in the leave raises great risk of damage to the rule of law for the environment.”

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