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My top 7 books about climate change

Climate change is a very complex and multi-dimensional topic. One can never read too many books on the subject.

Here are my absolute favourites:

1. The Future We Choose by Christiana Figueres and Tom Eivett-Carnac

Christiana Figueres is the power-house behind the 2015 Paris Agreement, and it's worth paying attention to anything she has to say.

This book is about confronting the climate crisis head-on. My favourite quote is:

‘When you are faced with hard realities, look at them with clarity, but also know that you are incredibly lucky to be alive at a time when you can make a transformative difference to the future of all life on Earth’

the future we choose book cover

2. Saving The Planet Without The Bullsh*t by Assaad Razzouk

Assaad Razzouk doesn't pull any punches. He says:

'Just 90 companies are responsible for two thirds of all the bad greenhouse gases we’ve emitted since industrialisation began. All of these 90 are oil, gas, coal or cement companies.'
'We must resist oil, gas and coal companies trying to shift the burden for solving the climate crisis to individuals. Instead, we must compel them to assume their immensely larger responsibility. '

He also says that 'In the climate change space, what is radical has a track record of becoming normal in very short order.' This makes me think that it's extra important not to lose faith and stay abreast of climate developments.

 Saving The Planet Without The Bullsh*t by Assaad Razzouk

3. Climate Justice by Mary Robinson

'As advocate for the forgotten and the ignored, Mary Robinson has not only shone a light on human suffering, but illuminated a better future for our world.' -

Barack Obama described Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, much better than I could.

This book reminds us that climate change doesn't affect everyone equally. Those who are least responsible suffer the most. She says:

'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Yet, when it comes to the effects of climate change, there has been nothing but chronic injustice and the corrosion of human rights.'

This book will leave you in awe of the resilience of the people most affected by climate change. It's people and solution-focused, and an absolute must-read.

Climate Justice by Mary Robinson

4. A life on our planet by David Attenborough

Who doesn't love David Attenborough?!

I include this quote in all of my climate courses.

'We share the Earth with the living world – the most remarkable life-support system imaginable, constructed over billions of years to bring balance at the planetary scale. It is no accident that the planet’s stability has wavered just as its biodiversity has declined – the two things are bound together.
To restore stability on our planet, therefore, we must restore its biodiversity, the very thing we have removed. It is the only way out of this crisis that we ourselves have created.
We must rewild the world!'

A life on our planet by David Attenborough

5. A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis, by Vanessa Nakate

David Attenborough is the oldest author in this list, and Vanessa Nakate is the youngest, but not any less impressive.

Waterstones describes her book as:

'Providing a vital perspective on the climate crisis, Nakate’s powerful book combines personal experience of the devastating effects of global warming on the African continent with an incisive manifesto for change.'

6. The Carbon Almanac: it's not too late, forward by Seth Godin

The Carbon Almanac has been described as

'a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between hundreds of writers, researchers, thinkers, and leaders that focuses on what we know, what has come before, and what might happen next.

With thousands of data points, articles and charts explaining carbon's impact on everything in our society, from our the economy to extreme weather events, it is the definitive source for facts and the basis for a global movement to fight climate change.'

It's a really great book for people who are new to climate change, but it's useful for anyone working in the field. I refer back it quite often for a simple to-the-point explanation of climate issues.

7. Not the end of the world by Hannah Ritchie

This book came out in 2024 and it was a much-needed breath of fresh air.

It comes at a time when more than three quarters of 100,000 16-25 years old surveyed say ‘humanity is doomed’ and they feel frightened.

'Packed with the latest research, practical guidance and enlightening graphics, this book will make you rethink almost everything you've been told about the environment'.

'These problems are big. But they are solvable. We are not doomed. We can build a better future for everyone. Let's turn that opportunity into reality.'

Thank you for reading! I hope you found it helpful.

You can check out our Climate Change courses for:

Boards of Directors here

Trustees here

Lawyers here

Foundations here

We also have a new one-off course on 'How to Maintain Optimism during the Climate Emergency'. More info here.

my top 7 books about climate change



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