Farhana Yamin grew up in London and came to Somerville in 1983 to study PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics). After graduation, Yamin qualified as a solicitor and worked as an environmental lawyer, becoming a climate change and development policy expert. In 2001, she helped to deliver the Marrakech Accords, the international rules needed to complete the Kyoto Protocol and she has been advising leaders and countries on climate change and development policy for 30 years.
Yamin has taught in UK universities since 1995, including as a Visiting Professor at University College London. She stepped back from the world of academia and UN negotiations in 2018 to focus on non-violent civil disobedience and social justice movements challenging capitalism. As a Political Coordinator of Extinction Rebellion for a year, Yamin played a key role in the XR April 2019 protests, gluing herself to the Shell HQ offices in London, alongside thousands of other activists. She is a champion of community-based action and co-founded Camden Think & Do, where she is experimenting with radical inclusion & concepts of spatial justice by supporting communities create pop-up action hubs in high streets and public spaces. She also sits as an expert on various Commissions including Camden Renewal Commission and IPPR’s Commission on Environmental Justice.
Farhana serves as trustee or adviser to a number of organisations working on the intersection of social, racial and ecological justice, including Greenpeace UK, WWF-UK and Julie’s Bicycle, an organisation working to support artists and the cultural sector in tackling climate and sustainability. Yamin is currently a Senior Associate at the UK think thank company Systemiq and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and was made an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College in 2022.
Did you know? Farhana first broke the law in the name of climate justice in 2019, when she glued herself to the ground outside the Shell headquarters in London. Her protest formed a central part of the 2021 film Rebellion, which relates the inside story of XR from grassroots activism to international impact.