Bryony Worthington, Baroness Worthington

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Bryony Katherine Worthington, Baroness Worthington, (born 19 September 1971),[1][2] is a British environmental campaigner and Labour life peer in the House of Lords. She has promoted change in attitudes to the environment, and action to tackle climate change, and founded Sandbag, a non-profit campaign group designed to increase public awareness of emissions trading, in 2008.[3]


Bryony Worthington was born and grew up in Wales,[4] and graduated in English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge,[5] before joining Operation Raleigh as a fundraiser. In the mid 1990s, she worked for an environmental charity, and by 2000 had moved to work for Friends of the Earth as a climate change campaigner. She then worked for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, implementing public awareness campaigns and helping draft the Climate Change Bill, before becoming head of government relations for the energy company, Scottish and Southern Energy. She left to form Sandbag in 2008.[6]

She was created a life peer on 31 January 2011 with the title Baroness Worthington, of Cambridge in the County of Cambridgeshire,[7] and sits on the Labour benches.[8]

Climate Change Act[edit]

Lady Worthington was the lead author in the team which drafted the UK's 2008 Climate Change Act.[9] This landmark piece of legislation, which requires the UK to reduce its carbon emissions to a level 80% lower than its emissions in 1990. At the time Worthington was working with Friends of the Earth working on their Big Ask campaign, but was seconded to government to help design the legislation.


Lady Worthington launched Sandbag in 2008[10] to raise public awareness of and improve the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Initially Sandbag provided members of the public with a way of tackling climate change, enabling them to buy ETS permits and cancel them, meaning that European companies covered by the ETS would have to emit fewer greenhouse gasses. Since that time, Sandbag has changed and grown. With a general remit to 'defend against climate risk',[11] Sandbag now focuses on researching and suggesting improvements to the ETS, how to phase out coal-fired power stations in Europe, and how governments and the EU can work to support Carbon Capture and Storage. Lady Worthington has been Sandbag's Director since its foundation.[12]

Other Campaigning[edit]


The Baroness was once "passionately opposed to nuclear power,"[13] but came to advocate the adoption of Thorium as a nuclear fuel[14][15] following the 2009 Manchester Report, where she met Kirk Sorensen who presented arguments for using Thorium.[16] Worthington is patron of the Weinberg Foundation, a British non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to the promotion and development of molten salt reactor (MSR) technology.[17][18][19] She has said: "the world desperately needs sustainable, low carbon energy to address climate change while lifting people out of poverty. Thorium based reactors, such as those designed by the late Alvin Weinberg, could radically change perceptions of nuclear power leading to widespread deployment."[20]


Since 2015 Worthington has been a Trustee at UNICEF.[21]


  1. ^ Geoffrey Lean (26 November 2010). "Fur will fly as green peer takes ermine". Daily Telegraph. 
  2. ^ Dods (Group) PLC. "Democracy Live - Your representatives - Bryony Worthington". BBC Online. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Sandbag: Who We Are
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Financial Times Sustainable Banking Conference, 2009: speaker details
  6. ^ Leo Hickman (12 September 2008). "Sandbagged: Dealing a blow to carbon trading interview with Bryony Worthington". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59689. p. 1849. 3 February 2011.
  8. ^ Baroness Worthington
  9. ^ Retrieved 29 July 2015
  10. ^ Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  11. ^ Retrieved 29th July 2015
  12. ^ Retrieved 29th July 2015
  13. ^ Business Daily - The nuclear renaissance? (click "More Programme Information" for a text summary of the audio)
  14. ^ Bryony Worthington (4 July 2011). "Why thorium nuclear power shouldn't be written off". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  15. ^ Bryony Worthington (9 March 2012). "Post-Fukushima world must embrace thorium, not ditch nuclear". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Duncan Clark (13 July 2009). "Manchester Report: Thorium nuclear power". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  17. ^ Weinberg Foundation
  18. ^ Thorium: the element that could power our future (Wired UK)
  19. ^ New life for forgotten fuel
  20. ^ Launching The Weinberg Foundation
  21. ^ Retrieved 29th July 2015

External links[edit]