Team > Melissa Fourie
Melissa Fourie is a climate justice advocate and environmental lawyer. She has spent more than 20 years working on environmental rights, enforcement, air pollution and climate change in South Africa.
As Executive Director of South African non-profit environmental public interest law organisation the Centre for Environmental Rights, a position she held from 2010 until April 2023, Melissa has been at the forefront of environmental and climate litigation, legal advocacy and defending the rights of environmental activists in South Africa.
From 2005-2008, as the Director: Enforcement in the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, she was responsible for criminal and administrative enforcement of pollution and waste legislation, including in the steel industry in South Africa. Melissa holds the degrees BA LLB from the University of Stellenbosch, and an MSc in Environment & Development from the London School of Economics. She also holds certificates in tax law, environmental law and environmental compliance and enforcement from the Universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand and Pretoria respectively.She is currently a member of the South African Presidential Climate Commission, which advises the South African government on climate action and the just transition. In that capacity, she heads up the Commission’s Monitoring & Evaluation Working Group, and is a member of the Commission’s Net Zero Pathways Working Group.
I am driven by a dream for a fossil-free, just and equal, healthy and climate resilient society where all people and the planet can flourish and prosper.