Conservative Environment Network welcomes new Director

The Conservative Environment Network has welcomed Sam Barker as its new Director.

Sam joins CEN from Tearfund, an international development charity where he led on policy and government affairs. Prior to that, Sam worked in UK think tanks on health and social policy, and as an adviser to Conservative Minister Rt Hon. Stephen O’Brien MP. Sam lives in Cambridge with his family, and grew up in Manchester, the West Midlands and Cumbria. Speaking about his appointment, Sam said:

“I’m delighted to be leading the Conservative Environment Network into the next phase of its development. British people want to make a honest living, live somewhere nice and do well by our families and friends. We want to eat well, breathe fresh air and enjoy our countryside at work or play.

“By focusing on environmental stewardship, we can deliver a more productive manufacturing and financial economy and a more resilient rural economy. We will strengthen our trading relationships and shape a more stable world. We will manage costs for consumers. By reducing both our environmental and our fiscal deficits we will leave a better legacy for our children and grandchildren.”

“Throughout the centuries conservatives have had a long tradition of protecting and enhancing the environment. The Network embodies and enhances that tradition.”

The Conservative Environment Network was founded in 2008 by Ben Goldsmith, Peter Ainsworth and others. CEN is an independent organisation which gives voice to conservative approaches to environmental stewardship. CEN prefers decentralised, free market, and growth-oriented mechanisms for managing human interaction with our environment.

Activity by the Network includes the publication of ‘Responsibility and Resilience’. This collection of essays makes the case that true environmentalism enhances resilience and competitiveness and facilitates competition. Furthermore, this tradition of conservative thought and action reaches back through Baroness Thatcher to Disraeli and Burke.

The Network has also been involved in successful campaigns. Notably, CEN helped achieve a Conservative manifesto commitment to establishing a ‘Blue Belt’ of marine reserves in partnership a number of our Overseas Territories. CEN has also worked to ensure that the UK’s transition away from coal-based energy generation is done well.

Ben Goldsmith, Chairman and co-founder of the Conservative Environment Network said:

“The conservative tools of competition and the free market are powerful enough to deliver the environmental security and economic resilience we need for a stable society. We must hand on to the next generation a more dynamic economy, more beautiful landscapes and localities, and a cleaner environment. This will not be achieved unless interventions work with the grain of human aspiration and behaviour.”

“The Conservative Environment Network will partner with and urge on the government as it makes progress on securing our environment. I am thrilled by Sam’s appointment and the next phase in the Network’s life.”