Tom Rivett-Carnac is a political strategist, author and podcaster. He has spent more than 20 years working to address the climate and ecological crises.
Tom co-founded Global Optimism with Christiana Figueres after they left the UN in 2016. The organisation inspires individuals and builds transformative partnerships that tackle the climate crisis with the conviction, scale and speed that science demands.
Tom’s responsibilities at Global Optimism include strategic roles across the philanthropic, non-profit and private sectors. Tom leads Global Optimism’s work as co-founder of The Climate Pledge, a partnership with Amazon that brings together more than 200 influential companies with the shared objective of reaching net zero by 2040. He is Strategy Adviser to the Earthshot Prize, a Fellow at the Bezos Earth Fund, a Senior Advisor to Macquarie Group, and a Fellow at Stanford Law School. Global Optimism is a founding partner, of TED Countdown, alongside TED and Leaders Quest, as well as a founding partner of Future Stewards.
Tom is a frequent media commentator on the politics, financing and corporate approaches to the climate crisis, and co-hosts the popular climate podcast Outrage + Optimism with Christiana Figueres and Paul Dickinson each week, covering the stories behind the headlines on the climate crisis with influential guests. Tom’s TED Talk has almost 3 million views.
In 2020, Tom and Christiana co-authored the bestselling book The Future We Choose: The Stubborn Optimist's Guide to the Climate Crisis, which has since been translated into 14 languages. In December 2021 his first children’s book When We All Stopped is to be published as part of the Jane and Me series inspired by Jane Goodall’s life work.
Tom previously served as Climate Strategist at X, the Moonshot Factory (formerly Google X), as Special Adviser to the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors, and as a co-founder of Mission 2020. From 2013 to 2016 he was Senior Advisor to the Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Convention, a position from which he contributed to major parts of the strategy leading to the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015.
Earlier in his career, Tom was President and CEO of CDP North America and Director of the Cities and Public Sector Programs at CDP. He worked in various roles at Dyson and at CarbonSense consultancy. Tom spent two years serving as a Buddhist monk in Thailand and Myanmar.
Tom holds a BSc (Hons) from Bath Spa University, an MSc from Schumacher College and an honorary PhD from Knox College. He lives with his wife and two children in Devon, where he enjoys staring out of the window and watching nature slowly reclaim their ten acres of land.