About us

Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has used science, economics, law, advocacy and innovative private-sector partnerships to win practical environmental solutions. EDF Europe was established in 2016 and is currently led by Executive Director, Europe, Helen Spence-Jackson.

Photo of the northern lights

“All around the world, people who are passionate about protecting the environment are working together to share successful approaches and scale up new solutions. Environmental Defense Fund brings our own brand of pragmatic idealism to Europe, working to advance world-class science and align market forces to achieve ambitious environmental goals.”

Forging Solutions in Europe

When assessing which issues to tackle and how best to deploy our resources, we considered three key questions: Is there a market failure that prevents an issue being resolved? Is there also a regulatory failure that needs addressing? Does the problem lead to a solution that can be appropriately scaled? We also considered if there is a role for us that plays to our strengths and complements the work of others. Applying these tests, we have identified the issues we believe we can make a positive impact on in Europe, ranging across two key topics: Climate and Energy, and Oceans.

Fourth Wave Environmentalism

Finding the Ways that Work

We know we are stepping into a fast-moving river in Europe, where civil society has a proud history of winning environmental protections and where many progressive companies are investing in solutions and advocating positive change.

By expanding Environmental Defense Fund’s work in Europe, we will contribute to this common effort, bringing our experience in forging solutions that align the interests of people and nature so that both can thrive. It’s what we call finding the ways that work. 

Portland General Electric - https://www.flickr.com/photos/portlandgeneralelectric/15813794497/in/photolist-q6pQag-VUyDTm-9d8sYM-TqBeR6-wGGh2s-e2PWBo-aJwFVZ-aKcaxr-U9zwbJ-Tr9a1M-fA8ooL-U9zEdf-SktzVm-p1qrr9-6GwHP7-TqBdYK-6tr9zd-U9zYzf-Uc4FBi-b2VZJk-dLQNyf-b2VXgz-T2ZGJC-b2W3ii-TqBeqM-2gCaX9-U9z4Vh-b2W65k-TqAT4e-aveyE7-8m35dx-b2W47B-fmTsf3-aveBtY-b2VZqF-tapfx6-9ddeCj-Uc5f7t-sayX65-q6pQ4e-e2Jh7t-nwN6VN-TC4YLa-dyfJ7t-bCYHRZ-9GkGGb-2x6mJ1-9VXLbq-6s1ssp-iegyNe

Leadership in Europe

Europe so often leads the world in safeguarding the environment and human health. It has been the site of major advances on climate, protections for species and habitat, and ambitious standards for clean air, clean water, safer chemicals and greener products. Yet we still face many challenges. Tackling global climate change requires unprecedented action, our seas are still under great pressure, our land does not sustain the protective web of biodiversity and habitats it once did, and human health is still too often impaired due to poor environmental conditions. We are committed to building a strong board and team of leaders in Europe to contribute to meeting these challenges.

Board of Trustees

Delivering Solutions

To help deliver solutions on the scale of these problems, Environmental Defense Fund Europe will reach out to new audiences, unlock additional resources, and deploy both tried and tested tools and innovative approaches. This will add further diversity to the European environmental movement.

Environmental Defense Fund’s expansion in Europe strengthens our global network and increases our international impact. 

John Towner