Fernanda Balata


Fernanda Balata

Senior Programme Manager

Fernanda is a political economist with more than a decade of work at NEF, leading flagship programmes, research, policy and practice work on climate, nature, community economic development, and the future of work. She has experience of bridging between high-level research and policy, and working directly with people, workers, and communities.

Her current focus is on climate justice — green transition policy and practice — as part of NEF’s Green New Deal mission. She is engaged in projects at different levels of policy – from local and mayoral combined authorities to national government, and the international economy. In 2014, she developed the Blue New Deal initiative aimed at reconciling social and economic prosperity for coastal communities with coastal and marine conservation. The Blue New Deal brought together hundreds of people across civil society, industry, government and grassroot groups in the UK, who co-developed a major report proposing the building blocks for a coastal industrial strategy. In 2017, Fernanda set up NEF’s Center for Coastal Economies to support community-led projects in the UK; and in 2019, she took the Blue New Deal and NEF’s wider work to Hawaii as the 2019 Berit Mexia Chair for Peace and Social Justice, speaking to a number of schools and institutions in Oahu.

Fernanda’s interests include climate justice, political ecology, health equity, green infrastructure, rewilding, geopolitics, democratic participation, and community-led policy. In 2019 – 2020, she sat on the advisory panel and spoke at the first UK Climate Assembly. Fernanda is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and holds BSc in International Relations from Universidade Estacio de Sa. She is frequently invited by a range of organisations, politicians, and community groups to contribute to debates and ideas on new economics, justice, ocean, and climate issues.