Head of science, policy and research , Friends of the Earth
Mike Childs is head of science, policy and research for Friends of the Earth. He was interested in the environment from an early age, influenced by an older brother who studied marine biology at university, and seeing the impact of a new road built near where he lived, destroying the Essex countryside while making no difference whatsoever to traffic jams. He worked as a laboratory technician for four years before studying biology at York University, where he was the first Green deputy-president of the Students’ Union.
He joined Friends of the Earth in 1989, because he believed it had a human dimension and he was concerned about development issues. He worked as a campaigner, volunteer and then a regional and national officer. He has led campaigns on many issues, including climate change and carcinogens emitted by factories.
‘Friends of the Earth is a unique place. It has always seen international development and protecting the environment going hand in hand – our strap line was ‘for people, for the planet’. So I’ve always felt close to Friends of the Earth.’