James Beard manages any ECF grants and activities that are aimed at accelerating the transition to net-zero transport emissions in the UK. James’ roots are in Sheffield and Sunderland, he grew up in Devon, studied in Paris and Oxford, and currently lives with his partner in London.
Before joining the ECF, James worked in comms for the Renewable Energy Association, on transport and bioenergy at WWF-UK, and on the award-winning EV100 campaign at the Climate Group. In 2020, the UK Government committed to ending petrol and diesel vehicle sales within a decade – a career highlight and the culmination of three years of campaigning.
James is committed to confronting the climate crisis because of how unfair it is that people around the world who’ve done least to cause the problem stand to suffer the most from it. The scale of the challenge can be overwhelming, but at the same time, change can happen much faster than people sometimes realise. This is one reason for James’ fierce but pragmatic optimism that a sustainable future is within our reach, along with the passion and energy that young people are bringing to the climate debate.
In his free time, James enjoys football, going to gigs, a nice walk to a country pub (ideally with a pool table), and a quiet night in with a good book, film or videogame. He’s always working at living a greener lifestyle – successfully cutting down on meat, milk and flying, but continually struggling with cheese.