School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr David Golding

Visiting Fellow


David golding, campaigner


"Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for wanting to make poverty history. Well done. Go on to the Jubilee, on to Trade Justice and on to ‘Make Poverty History!” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu to North East CALL TO ACTION)

 David Golding campaigns in an entirely voluntary capacity to support efforts to: “Free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty” (UN Millennium Declaration, 2000); and to "Curb climate change". Positively, he calls for action to "Promote worldwide economic justice, and provide a sustainable future, ‘for all, for ever’"!

 He works for the reform of the great economic 'structural ' injustices which, as he puts it, “grind down whole generations, across entire continents”, such as debt, trade, and tax injustices, and robustly defends the provision of long promised aid. However, recognising that the greatest threat, by far, to the world's poor is that posed by climate change, he also advocates vigorous and urgent action based on acceptance of the current scientific consensus on climate change, as expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (whose 'Advice for Policy Makers' he reads). Such action must involve both the urgent implementation of measures to decarbonise the economy and also measures to rectify the grotesque climate injustice to which less developed countries are currently subject by providing them with the means to both adapt to climate change and to develop using clean energy. 

outcomes, etc.

 Leading role regionally and nationally (1997-present) in Jubilee 2000 (J2K)/Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC), which has secured the cancellation of nearly $150b of debt for 36 countries, bringing incalculable benefits to hundreds of millions of people in severe poverty. “Let me applaud the tremendous work you are doing” (President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, to JDC UK).

Led Newcastle University’s major role in JDC’s successful campaign (2010) to outlaw ‘Vulture Funds’, saving poor countries about £200m – more, if similar laws enacted subsequently in other jurisdictions are taken into account.

Mobilised Make Poverty History NE (2004-2010), then North East CALL TO ACTION (NE-CAP) (2010-present), to contribute to the wider poverty campaign, with its historic achievements in the reduction in child mortality, etc., and to UK’s ground-breaking Climate Act (2008), etc. - and the Paris Agreement (2015)! “You’re our star performer!”, declared Fiona Dear, of the national Climate Coalition, in 2008, referring to NE-CAP.

Led successful campaign (2008-2010) against npower’s proposed new, largely unabated, coal-fired power station near Blyth, Northumberland, which would have been the second largest station in the UK producing about 15m tonnes of CO2 p.a.

Has organised large university team in the Great North Run since 2002, funnelling nearly £220,000 to national agencies leading the poverty/climate campaigns.


David’s “superb leadership, not only in Newcastle and the North East, but in the whole country”, was applauded by Gordon Brown (then Chancellor of the Exchequer) at Newcastle University’s Special Honorary Degree Ceremony on 8th January 2007.

Tearfund: Foremost voice in NE England, 1986-present

The Debt Campaign: ‘J2K Tyneside’ (1997-2000); Principal ‘agitator’ nation-wide, for relaunch of national campaign as JDC (2001); Instigated regional ‘JDC- NE’, with ‘Constituency Contacts’, Tees–Tweed, and seven distinguished ‘Patrons’; Trustee JDC-UK, 2001-present.

“Northeast Call to Action Against Poverty has been one of our most important and active national affiliates, undertaking amazing campaigning and fundraising efforts over the last two decades and helping us to win some really important campaigning victories. We are extremely grateful and appreciative for your ongoing energy, commitment and support.” (Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, 17th May, 2018)


Global Poverty: Broadened group to form ‘Make Poverty History NE’ (MPH-NE) (2004).


Climate change: Secured support of array of distinguished scientists, etc., to block new power station at Blyth (2008/9); likewise, secured the support of three Newcastle professors of climate change/renewable energy, and three former chairs of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (each a ‘Professor Sir… FRS’!) to oppose new local coalmine at Highthorn, near Druridge Bay (2016-present); made written submissions and a verbal submission to the Public Inquiry set up to reconsider the County Council’s consent for the mine. The Inspector recommended acceptance of the application, but this was overturned by the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, who rejected the application, mainly on account of its implications for the UK’s policies on climate change.


“The Climate Coalition board would like to extend special thanks to NE-CAP, its committee members and supporters for their extensive, varied and imaginative program which was an exemplary part of our ‘Speak Up’ Week of Action. NE-CAP were responsible for instigating, or supported, an impressive 15 events - a huge achievement! Without such dedication from our members the coalition quite simply could not have such a powerful impact. We sincerely hope that you will continue to be involved in our future campaigning moments.” (Lorena Vila, Campaigns Executive, The Climate Coalition, 22nd August 2017)


Acted as ‘Development Coordinator’ – instigator, analyst, speaker, author and organiser – of this highly acclaimed grouping (now North East CALL TO ACTION), 1997-Present.


Newcastle University: Secured its official,globally unique endorsement of debt/poverty campaign, 1998-present, and recently secured support for climate campaign from distinguished professorial scientists.


Major events: Impossible even to list! From biggest regional launch of J2K (1998); to service in Durham Cathedral in January 2006, which drew about 1,100 people; to prestigious 4th ‘Jubilee Lecture’, 2nd February ‘17, when Lord Nicholas Stern drew audience of 500!


Mobilisations: Organised and led large regional parties to every major national and international gathering: from J2K, 1998, to Climate Coalition, 2015.


David has “scorned delights and lived laborious days” to promote the campaigns for the past 20 years, and it is utterly impossible to summarise the highly original ways he has engaged and inspired others without unduly burdening the reader!



Campaigning work recognised by the award of the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) by Newcastle University (8th January 2007) and a CBE by HM The Queen (1st June 2008).


Scale and diversity of David’s campaigning: and


Visit to Tanzania and Zambia (2011): Google, "Drop the Debt! How campaigning brought a jubilee to Tanzania and Zambia", or


The ‘academic campaigner’:

  1.  “Old-style/New-style Abuse of Press Freedom”: Unique submission to Leveson Inquiry on poverty and climate, welcomed and included in its published evidence:

  2.  “Was that ‘Charity’? Is this ‘Partnership’?” (2006) Globalisations 3, 266-269, Routledge.

  1.  “I urge you all to work together – an appeal for the voiceless” - this document was submitted verbally and in writing on to the Public Inquiry, 31st May – 21st June, set up by the Government into the proposal to create a new opencast coal mine at Highthorn, Northumberland.


    The ‘soapbox campaigner’: Google, “Climate Change David Golding – YouTube”, or


The ’Christian campaigner’: see


New York Times:  Many letters published local, church and national press, including The Guardian, Independent, Metro, and Daily Telegraph.


David W. Golding CBE PhD DSc DCL (