David Ritter

CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Hi, I’m David Ritter. It is my privilege to lead the team at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, where we are campaigning for a green and peaceful future for all. On this page you can connect with me and find out about what I’m doing in my role as Chief Executive Officer.

I was born in Perth, WA and I’m married with two beaut daughters.  In the past, I’ve worked as a lawyer and an academic, before spending five years with Greenpeace UK.  In July 2012 I came back to Australia to head up Greenpeace Australia Pacific, determined to make our campaigns as effective as possible.

I often write and speak about issues that I care deeply about.  I’ll keep a record of where I am speaking and what I am writing here and you can read a selection of my opinion pieces below. You can also refer to my catalogue at Global Policy, Griffith Review, The Huffington Post and The Drum. It would be great to hear from you, so please let me know if you have any feedback by emailing or by reaching out to me on Facebook and Twitter.

All the best,
David.

Events 

March Australia, 31 August 2014, Melbourne.

David will be speaking at March Australia in Melbourne.

"Our climate and the beautiful places we love like the Great Barrier Reef are under threat, as is our fair go society. On 31st August let's March together for a better and brighter vision for Australia."

Blogs, articles and publications

The latest updates

 

'The Donors’ Dilemma' - Climate Change and the Future of Aid

Standard Page | 8 May, 2014 at 15:20

Climate change is a critical factor in the future of aid. The InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that a changing climate will bring more drought, extreme weather events, and rising sea levels, impacting on food production,...

Overthrow of King Coal crucial to bright future

Standard Page | 7 May, 2014 at 16:39

Clean energy sources will generate a new direction, writes David Ritter.

#AustraliansForCoal is the latest sign of an industry in values freefall

Standard Page | 7 May, 2014 at 15:20

During the second world war, my dad performed his war service down the coal mines in the UK. The work cost him his sense of smell, but gave him a profound sense of camaraderie and regard for the men he served with down in the coal pits. Until the...

Beyond Apathy: Acting on Climate Change

Standard Page | 20 January, 2014 at 16:45

How did climate change action ‐ once ‘the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time’ − become political poison? When (and why) did we fall from the giddy heights of the Kyoto Protocol signing, and the rise of emissions reduction...

The industrialisation of the Great Barrier Reef

Standard Page | 18 December, 2013 at 14:21

In weighing up the interests of the Great Barrier Reef against those of transnational coal companies, Greg Hunt decided it was more important to protect the latter, writes David Ritter.

An open letter to NSW farmer Phil Laird: Greenpeace stands with you

Standard Page | 18 December, 2013 at 14:42

NSW farmer Phil Laird is fighting to protect Maules Creek from a company wanting to dig an open-cut coal mine. If he will have us, we will answer his call and add our name to his struggle, writes David Ritter.

Passion for prosperity via nature

Standard Page | 29 November, 2013 at 14:21

Never has the environment occupied so central a position in the nation's political debate as it does presently. And never, arguably, has that debate been so contested.

Progressive Politics and the Environment in Australia: what now?

Standard Page | 25 November, 2013 at 10:11

In the wake of a Federal Election in which environmental issues and other progressive causes seemed to take a backseat or go backwards, David Ritter takes a critical look at where we are and how to get the national agenda moving again.

I'm In! - Progress 2013 Wrap Up Video

Standard Page | 25 November, 2013 at 10:00

At a pivotal moment in the aftermath of a most extraordinary Federal Election, Progress 2013 featured fascinating debates on the big issues facing Australia, practical workshops from the world's leading change makers, and plenty of space to...

Best of Times, Worst of Times and End Times: Eight Books about Australia's Past,...

Standard Page | 23 October, 2013 at 17:30

A review of eight books about Australian politics, written by David Ritter and Jessica Panegyres.

Sunrise: 'Arctic 30' refute claims of piracy

Standard Page | 14 October, 2013 at 15:48

David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, appears on Weekend Sunrise to discuss the inappropriateness of piracy charges for the Arctic 30.

Over the horizon: Next steps for sustainable cities and the world

Standard Page | 30 September, 2013 at 11:51

David Ritter joined Lord Mayor Clover Moore; Dr David Suzuki; Alex Wyatt, Founder, Climate Bridge; Professor Tim Flannery, Chief Commissioner, Australian Climate Commission; and Anna Rose, author and environmentalist, to discuss how governments,...

Hunt’s direct action on rainforest could reap carbon rewards

Standard Page | 9 September, 2013 at 11:45

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt’s ambition to broker a new global rainforest recovery plan reopens an important conversation about Australia’s role in tackling tropical deforestation. And it reminds us there is much Australia could do...

Australia, land of market domination

Standard Page | 27 August, 2013 at 10:22

Power remains highly concentrated in many sectors, from banking to the retail food industry. This aggregation of control should be scrutinised.

Coal industry the ‘angry drunk’ in politics

Standard Page | 20 June, 2013 at 16:30

The chief of the Australian Coal Association’s response to the anti-coal movement last week was predictable – bullies always hate it when people stand up to them.

Coal, climate and civil disobedience

Standard Page | 3 May, 2013 at 10:23

Today in Australia, the profound global threat posed by climate change could not be clearer. Yet none of the major parties are proposing any action to curb our coal export trade.

VIDEO: The New Politics of Freedom

Standard Page | 22 April, 2013 at 16:29

David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, speaks at the Thinking For Yourself conference (La Trobe University) about the cost involved when we treat our right to consume resources as inviolable and unlimited.

Business attitude to environment depends on bottom line

Standard Page | 25 February, 2013 at 17:10

Corporations will only act responsibly towards the environment if it is in the firm's commercial interest to do so. 'Brand attack' campaigns and government regulation are our best weapons, writes David Ritter.

Will the WA Libs Distribute Boom Wealth More Evenly?

Standard Page | 22 April, 2013 at 16:25

Of course they won't, says David Ritter, but the weird thing is they've managed to convince a lot of people otherwise

2013: the year a whispering became a roar

Standard Page | 22 April, 2013 at 16:18

Cutting ‘green tape’ won’t make a more prosperous Australia

Standard Page | 26 April, 2013 at 13:11

Proposed changes to Australia’s national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC) 1999, appear to have been shelved. The politics have shifted rapidly. Ultimately, the proposals were dumped because they were not a...

Environmental movement needs the human touch

Standard Page | 25 February, 2013 at 17:30

Greenpeace CEO David Ritter considers whether environmental activists have talked too much about targets and quotas instead of real people's lives.

‘CanDo’ What? Global Dynamics and Local Power in Queensland

Standard Page | 19 February, 2013 at 17:00

David Ritter explores the confluence local circumstances and global dynamics animating Queensland’s politics, and the likely implications for good governance, the Great Barrier Reef and greenhouse gas emissions.

PODCAST: Radio National, Sunday Extra with Jonathan Green, Sunday 12 August 2012

Standard Page | 16 July, 2013 at 17:36

Are today's environmental activists in a losing, but desperate battle? How can we best protect the environment and tackle climate change? New CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, David Ritter, spoke to RN Sunday Extra about the environmental...

PODCAST: Radio National, Breakfast with Fran Kelly

Standard Page | 17 July, 2013 at 18:06

The new head of Greenpeace Australia Pacific says he wants to help bring his organisation (and the environment movement in general) "in from the cold," fearing both may have lost their way.

Gas hub fight not over: new chief

Standard Page | 31 July, 2013 at 14:15

Greenpeace's new Australian head yesterday labelled as "crazy" the location of Woodside Petroleum's $30 billion LNG project at James Price Point in the Kimberley and predicted the battle was not over despite its approval last month by the...

Greenpeace head urges climate consensus

Standard Page | 31 July, 2013 at 14:10

Australia faces serious trouble from climate change unless our politicians can reach consensus on the issue and lead the global fight to reduce emissions, the new CEO of Greenpeace says.

Taking a moral stand

Standard Page | 31 July, 2013 at 14:04

Lawyer-turned-activist David Ritter will become the new head of Greenpeace Australia Pacific tomorrow. He talks exclusively to Deborah Snow.

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