The Climate Justice Fund is governed by its Board of Trustees, which determines its strategy and direction. The Board of Trustees will be in charge of putting in place the necessary policies and processes to implement the work of the Fund. The Board will develop strategies, decide on the provision of grants and undertake communications.

Board of Trustees

The Climate Justice Fund Board of Trustees was established in early 2017 and includes some of the world leaders in the field of climate change law, social movements and indigenous peoples and front line community activism and rights.

The Climate Justice Fund Board of Trustees are:

ALAYA (AYA) DE LEON (Developing Country Co Chair)

An international environmental lawyer with a focus on rights and environmental governance. She has worked on policies and programs to address climate change through forest protection and promoting social and environmental safeguards. Alaya led the climate change team of the Ateneo School of Government in the Philippines for three years and was a lawyer with SALIGAN, an alternative legal NGO empowering marginalized groups. In 2015, she co-founded environmental legal and policy consulting firm Parabukas.

CHRISTOPH SCHWARTE (Developed Country Co Chair)

Christoph is a German lawyer with over fifteen years of practical experience in different arenas of international   environmental law. He is the executive director of the Legal Response Initiative – a London based charity that provides free legal advice to climate vulnerable developing countries and NGOs. He was a member of the International Law Association’s Committee that developed legal principles related to climate change (adopted in 2014) and has been actively involved the international climate negotiation for many years.


An international environmental lawyer with 10 years of experience on climate change policy and environmental governance. She is currently the manager of the Climate Action Program and focal point to the Green Climate Fund for Fundación Avina, designing climate projects and programs in Latin America and providing readiness support and institutional capacity building to Latin American countries. A former senior climate change attorney at AIDA (Latin America) and a Founder and member of the technical committee of the Latin American Climate Finance Group (GFLAC).


Ezio is a Lawyer at Universidad de Chile. Msc Regulation London School of Economics and Political Science. He is Executive Director of the Chilen NGO FIMA. Ezio is also Researcher at the Center of Regulation and Competition, Universidad de Chile Law School and Professor of Environmental Law and Regulation, Universidad de Chile.


Gita is an independent international legal advisor and the former Head of Legal at Friends of the Earth England, Wales & Northern Ireland. Before joining Friends of the Earth she trained with charity law firm Bates, Wells & Braithwaite and worked for development NGO Actionaid. Gita is a qualified solicitor who has brought public interest environmental cases in UK courts on behalf of Friends of the Earth and the individuals and communities it works with. Her work covers rights under the Aarhus Convention and she has advised the Friends of the Earth International network on the UNFCCC climate negotiations for almost a decade, with a particular focus on the legal issues relating to human rights, participation and loss and damage. 


Former head of advocacy and communications for the African Biodiversity Network (ABN) and co-founder of the African Ecofeminist Collective, providing education around the gendered impacts of the climate crisis in Africa. Ruth has spent the last 7 years engaged in legal analyses concerning seed and trade laws that are criminalizing small-holder/peasant farmers, whilst favoring multi-national agricultural corporations, and  the implications of emerging pro private property land and mining laws to the rights of African women.


Kristin is a climate law specialist and serves as legal counsel for Greenpeace International. She advises on international environmental law and legal aspects of campaigning in the areas of climate change, energy, toxics, water and forests related issues. Kristin is a registered attorney with the Colorado Bar and holds certificate in Natural Resources and Environmental Law and is deeply committed to climate justice and bringing about the clean energy revolution.


Lili is the head of the Ecology and Sustainable Development Department of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s headquarters in Berlin. She focuses on International Climate, Energy and Resource Politics globally. Lili has worked on the subject of climate justice for many years and has been a global leader in building capacity of lawyers and campaignersin developing countries on the subject of climate change and the law. Current areas of emphasis include climate change, geoengineering and governance and extractive industries. Lili is also a Board member of the ETC Group.


Margaretha is a Lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of the South Pacific and an Affiliate of the Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research at the University of Cambridge. Margaretha’s work focuses on the intersection between climate change, human rights and accountability of States. She has provided advice to NGOs and governments at international climate negotiations, and UN human rights bodies. Margaretha is a member of the IUCN Academy for Environmental Law and serves on the editorial boards of the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law and of the Journal of South Pacific Law.


Richard has over 25 years experience in commercial litigation and arbitration with particular expertise in insurance and reinsurance, energy and professional negligence claims. He has appeared and advised on cases from the House of Lords to the High Court in the British Virgin Islands. He is a mediator and arbitrator and has given expert evidence on the English Law for foreign Courts. Recent experience includes a number of total loss marine insurance claims and disputes arising out of Hurricane Katrina.


A human rights defender with over 18 years of experience in Vanuatu and the broader Pacific. A graduate from Melbourne University, with training on Human Rights Approaches in Development through Dignity International and Asia Pacific Women Law and Development. Anne has experience working with the UNHRC and is the Founder and CEO of the Vanuatu Human Rights Coalition, a former Director of the Vanuatu Education Policy Advocacy Coalition and Co-Chair of the Pacific Islands Regional Multi- Country Coordinating Mechanism and of the Steering Committee on the Post Cotonou Negotiations.


Robert has thirty years’ experience and participation in local national and regional campaigns and advocacy for protection of community rights, access to water, forests, climate change, wildlife and fisheries resources. He has undertaken successful environmental litigation against development, groundwater pollution around Lusaka and Chalimbana River Headwaters and is currently litigating in the High Court of Zambia to stop mining in the Lower Zambezi National Park.


Strategic Support: Stephen Leonard, an Australian lawyer and President of the Climate Justice Programme (CJP) has been heavily involved with the climate justice legal movement since 2005. Through the CJP he contributed to the delivery of the carbon majors research and has been the driving force behind the Climate Justice Expert Meetings (CJEM) and the founding of the Climate Justice Fund. Stephen has a decade of experience in international climate law and policy on matters concerning loss and damage, climate finance, land use and forests, the fossil fuel industry, human rights and biodiversity.

Junior Technical and Administrative Support: Sonam Gordhan has been volunteering with the CJF for the past 12 months. She is a PhD Candidate at University College London’s Centre for Law and Environment. Her research focuses on the way in which litigation exposes structural, existential challenges to the role of courts in the governance of climate change. She  previously worked with Friends of the Earth UK’s legal team to bring public interest environmental litigation, including the successful challenge to Heathrow’s third runway. She has written articles for the UK Environmental Law Association, produced legal research for multiple textbooks and conference papers in environmental law and policy and provided legal advice at the UNFCCC negotiations.