Recommended by Hannah Jones

CEO, The Earthshot Prize

Hannah Jones

This book is inspiring because it makes the impossible positively achievable. DRAWDOWN punctures the impregnable shell that is the climate crisis, where every solution can seem inadequate because there is no one solution that can eliminate a huge percentage of global emissions. By totalling and ranking 80 climate solutions this book gives us the best climate saving road map available that can help us practitioners prioritise our decisions. And we can have faith in those decisions with DRAWDOWN’s emissions reduction predictions calculated by dozens of expert contributors using over 5,000 scientific references.

Recommended by Zahra Bahrololoumi

EVP & CEO UKI, Salesforce

Zahra Bahrololoumi

All We Can Save is a vital reminder that every individual has a role to play in building a sustainable future. As a female business leader, I’m deeply inspired by the poignant and practical contributions of so many remarkable women and their collective passion to drive impact for climate change. It’s the powerful intersection between conversation and community that will enable us to go beyond tackling the crisis to healing the planet.

Recommended by Nazneen Rahman CBE FMedSci

Scientist. Non-Executive Director, AstraZeneca

Nazneen Rahman CBE FMedSci

It is an accessible, actionable, passionate call to arms. It will inspire you to want to act to tackle the climate crisis, and give you practical ways to do so. I’d also recommend their weekly podcast - ‘Outrage and Optimism’

Recommended by Richard Curtis

Film director and campaigner

Richard Curtis

Over 300 of the world’s leading environmentalists have worked with all the world’s greatest comic book artists to produce a book that pinpoints time after time the emotion, passion, humour, madness and hope of climate issues. It’s an irresistible read - for all ages. As they put it in the intro - “ 120 stories to save the world.”

Recommended by Natalie Campbell

Co-CEO, Belu Water

Natalie Campbell

I read this book when it first came out. Back then, the conversation about climate change was not mainstream and in part limited to climate action groups. But in innovation-based businesses, the idea of collaborative consumption as a way of consuming less, to help the environment, had some traction. The result, over 10 years later, is companies like OLIO, the food sharing app that recently raised $43m, and Rent the Runway, which has been valued at $750m. The reason this book still resonates is that we need to find climate-compatible businesses that enable people to still live their lives well. If gaining access to what we need is hindered, I doubt populations will change – willingly, meaningfully, sustainably - for good.

Recommended by Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE

Director of Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge

Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE

A classic which inspired the environmental movement, written more than 50 years ago. The main focus of the book wasn’t climate change; it was about the use of pesticides. But the change it inspired went beyond just phasing out the use of DDT in particular. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency in the US was set up in the aftermath of this book. Part of the reason why it was so powerful was because it told the story. I love how it combines the science, the personal testimonies of people living through it, and beautiful storytelling.

Recommended by Thorsten Lange

Executive VP of renewable aviation at Neste

Thorsten Lange

I had the pleasure to talk to John. This should be compulsory reading in every boardroom. It’s a big chance to doing things better. We need positive messages. The risk of not doing anything is obvious. We have stakeholders even in our business playing on time. Wait until 2030 but every year we’re waiting goes to the balance sheet of our children. Still we have the chance to do it better.

Recommended by Chris Butler-Stroud

Chief Executive, Whale & Dolphin Conservation

Chris Butler-Stroud

The most influential book on me was from some time ago and is a sci-fi novel 'The Drowned World' by J.G Ballard 1962. It's a story about rising temperatures that create a flooded, tropical world in which humanity has to struggle to survive. I have always liked science fiction, not just because I tend towards 'Geekism', but I always liked the concept that humans were not the 'centre of the world'. Training as a geologist taught me that humans are only newcomers to this incredible planet, and could be gone sooner rather than later; but more importantly that other species could be sentient and all were deserving of respect. The study of geology and reading Ballard's work made me sit up as a youngster and realise that the earth was very capable of usurping our comfortable world and that the natural systems that protected us from rapid change were extremely fragile when compared to human influences.

Recommended by Richard Houston

Senior Partner and Chief Executive Deloitte NSE

Richard Houston

This book spoke to the optimist in me. It left me thinking about what’s possible if we work together and the importance of learning from one another. I’d recommend it to anyone feeling slightly overwhelmed about the state of our environment. You can’t help but feel inspired by reading about some of the incredible innovations and solutions that are already making a difference. And for me, there was an extra sense of pride knowing that through our partnership with Earthshot our people will play a role in helping some of these brilliant ideas to scale and grow.

Recommended by Colin Butfield

Co-Founder and Executive Director at Studio Silverback and co-author of ‘Earthshot: how to save our planet’

Colin Butfield

This does the difficult balancing act of being excellent solid science in a highly accessible style. You read this for a few hours and you just get it! You know why we are in serious trouble but you believe we have a chance to get out of it. I completely understand why most people don’t want to read lots of scientific papers on climate change, but Breaking Boundaries gets you up to speed ahead of COP 26 in a highly engaging way.

Recommended by Jo Hand

Co-Founder and Impact Director of Giki

Jo Hand

Porritt paints an unflinching picture of the reality of a world where we fail to act. He also explores the really big issues, like peak meat and geo-engineering, while stating it is not a lack of technology, but rather a lack of political will which poses the biggest risk. It is a sobering reminder of the danger of inaction, while offering us all ample reason to take control of carbon emissions before it is too late.

Recommended by Sir Partha Dasgupta

University of Cambridge and author of The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review

Sir Partha Dasgupta

The book is a love letter to Nature, its opening paragraphs on the dark and stillness of the Amazon rainforest are an ode to that vast ecosystem. Along the way, the reader learns ecological principles from a truly great scientist.

Recommended by Carys Taylor

Director of albert productions, BAFTA

Carys Taylor

I really enjoyed this book. The key thing is that it arms the reader with the basics on how to have a conversation about decarbonising, and really focuses on the solutions.

Recommended by Sharon Thorne

Global Chair, Deloitte

Sharon Thorne

It’s an excellent book that makes you look at food, biodiversity, everything concurrently. The author comes up with practical, accessible actions we can all take to make a difference. There’s a quote I’ll never forget: ‘Whatever we make it into, Earth will be our only home for a very long time to come. There is no planet B'.

Recommended by John Elkington

Bestselling climate author

John Elkington

I loved reading this book recently, which takes the climate crisis and projects it out to the time of COP54. It’s about how the Earth community gradually gets on top of the crisis, but it takes you through some fairly dark moments too. I loved science fiction as a teenager and have enjoyed returning to it in recent years. I think it’s immensely important to help people through those questions of ‘what if?

Recommended by Jarvis Smith

Co-Founding Director at My Green Pod

Jarvis Smith

We are very nearly at the point of everything we know collapsing. What can we learn from Jarad’s findings? Evolution comes from awareness - a must read for those of us who care enough to want change in the nick of time.

Recommended by Kristian Kampmann

Head of Secretariat, UNLEASH

Kristian Kampmann

This book goes in and basically argues why a lot of the interventions currently in place to combat climate change won’t work. It calls for broad systemic change, tying together climate change intervention with poverty, education, taxation, etc.

Recommended by Tanya Steele


Tanya Steele

I read James Rebanks’s ‘English Pastoral: An Inheritance’ while on a break in the Lake District, which felt like absolutely the right setting given that the book is a story of Rebanks’s farm in the Cumbrian fells and its journey from being a varied, living landscape in the author’s youth to one which he inherited almost devoid of the wildlife and rich heritage which had defined it. This is a wider exploration too of how we have homogenised and degraded rural landscapes around the world, at great cost to both natural and cultural heritage – but it is ultimately also a story of hope, and a beacon for how we can do things better, as Rebanks restores life to his land and signposts the way to a brighter, healthier future for generations to come.

Recommended by Beth Houghton

Founder of the Impact Fund at Palatine Private Equity

Beth Houghton

Let My People Go Surfing is from the founder of Patagonia and is the story of building a business around values, a business that cares for the environment and the people that work for it and has quality and sustainability at the heart of everything they do. He also started One Percent for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that contribute at least one percent of their net annual sales to groups on a list of researched and approved environmental organisations.

Recommended by Julie Baddeley

Chair of Chapter Zero

Julie Baddeley

En route for a family holiday I read an article by the author which was the forerunner to this book. I was hit hard by the enormous impact of climate change on our world – both economic and environmental. I realised that through my career I’d unwittingly been part of a business journey that has led to this huge catastrophe, and I wanted to do something about it. The article, and subsequent book, didn't tell me what to do, but convinced me that business has to find the solutions... and fast.

Recommended by Mark Wright

Director of Science, WWF-UK

Mark Wright

This is a very powerful book written by an Inuit woman who has borne witness to fundamental change in her world within her own lifetime. Sheila has the truly authentic voice of someone who is living with and living through these changes. With polar regions warming much faster than the rest of the world, she is on the frontline of the climate crisis and this book is a stark reminder that we are not talking about some imagined future; climate change is here and now and will impact every single one of us on the planet.

Recommended by Dr Linda Nkatha

Educator. Architect. Public Servant. Researcher

Dr Linda Nkatha

This book stands out among the many that have inspired me, and one that I recommend for a wide readership, especially in the space of climate action. It engages the dimensions of decision making in a world of growing dynamic complexity. It inspires me beyond the overemphasised need for climate action as it facilitates in answering the questions related to the How?, By Who?, By When? and By how much? The book presents systems thinking and modelling methods as a way to a) facilitate the systematic exposure of the elements that shape complex spaces and b) reveal the processes that shape multi-stakeholder decision-making responses over time. I have used the learnings of this book to develop frameworks and blueprints for temporal decision-making in multi-stakeholder spaces of climate action in built environments; COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery for informal settlements, as well as one-stop-shop youth programs for my country, Kenya.

Recommended by Paul Dickinson

Founder and Chair, The Carbon Disclosure Project

Paul Dickinson

Sustainability will remain mysterious until this book has been absorbed. Afterwards, it is easy to see exactly why we are where we are, and therefore, how to move forward.

Recommended by Kevin Peberdy

Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Executive Officer, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Kevin Peberdy

McKibben’s classic book, first published in 1989, was one of the first global warming impact books published for the general reader, combining science with McKibben’s “soulful lament” on nature. His call for a fundamental shift in the way we relate to nature in all our lives had a profound influence on me that helped to cement my future career. I remember one reviewer said “if you still need to convince a friend or relative that climate change is real, I would start here”. The book has been re-published and updated, actually with a little more optimism, but its central philosophy is still as relevant today.

Recommended by Alistar Phillips-Davies

Chief Executive Officer of SSE

Alistar Phillips-Davies

It’s going back a few years now but you’d have to say it’s aged very well. Reading it at the time was a big moment for me and you can almost feel a sense of sadness now when you consider the world’s inability to heed the warning sufficiently and take fast enough action. It painted a very accessible picture of the impending climate crisis and although we’ve made a lot of progress since then – particularly on power decarbonisation – the recent IPCC report shows we’ve done nowhere near enough to avoid the worst of climate change and therefore the message is just as relevant now as it was then.

Recommended by Penny Endersby

Chief Executive of the Met Office

Penny Endersby

I loved reading this autobiography recently. John led the Met office and chaired the first IPCC assessment, for which he received the Nobel Prize alongside Al Gore and others later in his life. It’s fascinating to see how he made it happen. He also wrote one of the great books about climate change, called Global Warming (which is what it was called back then).

Recommended by Helen Browning

Chief Executive, Soil Association

Helen Browning

Jonathon urges radical political and societal action through a brilliant analysis of humanity’s impact on the earth. He plumbs beyond the science to explore our fallible nature, with both compassion and anger, to understand how it can be that we teeter on the edge of true calamity. He allows us a little hope, but absolutely no excuses for further delay. This is the last chance saloon. Don’t read this unless you are prepared to strive for the rest of your days in service of future generations; you will be emotionally enlisted, and unable to claim ignorance in your defence.

Recommended by Rachel Moriarty

Head of Prize Design at The Earthshot Prize

Rachel Moriarty

This short book was a tough but inspiring read. It tells the story of what life is going to be like if we continue on our current path. I loved how it explains the issues – and solutions needed – clearly without oversimplifying them. It filled me with dread at first, but crucially, it follows by describing the world we can create if we choose to act now. It gave me hope and determination for what we can do to achieve a more equitable and thriving society in the face of climate change.