An eco-zealot who has been blocking roads in central London is a former BBC technology chief who lives in a £900,000 home and once worked on a ‘green’ initiative with a state-owned business in China.
Tim Lancaster, who is a current director of a climate change research group due to take part in COP26, was pictured yesterday as he and his teacher wife Louise, 56, desperately tried to hold back a car during an Insulate Britain protest near Southwark Bridge.
MailOnline can reveal that Mr Lancaster, 54, built links in China while he had a high-flying post with the Carbon Trust, which fights climate change.
Mrs Lancaster left her job as a teacher to spend more time on climate activism, and has been a familiar figure at Insulate Britain protests in recent weeks.
She has repeatedly held up traffic while facing the ire of angry motorists, despite being arrested on several occasions, and ignoring a series of High Court orders banning her from blocking roads.
But it is believed that yesterday was the first time that her husband was photographed joining her in a protest.
Mr Lancaster, who lives with his wife in a £900,000 house in Grantchester, near Cambridge, was head of technology for BBC Worldwide for nine years before joining the Carbon Trust in 2005.
He spent eight years at the taxpayer-funded organisation, initially as Operations Director before becoming its director in China working more than 5,000 miles away in Beijing.
Tim Lancaster, who is a current director of a climate change research group due to take part in COP26, was pictured yesterday as he and his teacher wife Louise, 56, (both pictured) desperately tried to hold back a car during an Insulate Britain protest near Southwark Bridge
Mr Lancaster, who lives with his wife in a £900,000 house in Grantchester, near Cambridge, was head of technology for BBC Worldwide for nine years before joining the Carbon Trust in 2005
A notice revealing a High Court order on the home of Tim and Louise Lancaster
Mr Lancaster spent nearly three years in his role in China between 2008 and 2011, at a time when the one-party state was investing heavily in CO2-belching coal fired power stations to fuel its economic growth, and becoming notorious for human rights abuses.
He was responsible for setting up the organisation’s first office in China and ‘developed a joint venture with a Chinese state-owned company to invest in low carbon technologies’, according to an online biography.
Mr Lancaster reveals his work in China for the Carbon Trust in his LinkedIn profile, saying he ‘negotiated, setup and steered a venture capital company involving the Chinese and UK governments’.
He adds in his profile: ‘When UK politics changed, I sourced a Singaporean partner, renegotiated the JV and doubled its valuation.
‘Designed and led a number of projects that won Foreign Office funding. Presented on carbon emission reduction at the Shanghai Expo and at conferences across China. Provided newspaper and radio interviews.’
Mr Lancaster spent nearly three years in his role in China between 2008 and 2011, at a time when the one-party state was investing heavily in CO2-belching coal fired power stations to fuel its economic growth, and becoming notorious for human rights abuses
Louise Lancaster, a teacher, and another woman stand on Marsham Street in Westminster as they protest outside the Home Office on Friday
Mr Lancaster also spent just over a year as Transition Director at the Carbon Trust before leaving the organisation in 2011.
He is currently Managing Director Cloud for the technology company Digital Space which manages cloud storage platforms for public and private organisations across the UK.
Mr Lancaster also serves as a board member of the international not for profit network Climate Strategies, which boasts of having ‘an expansive network of world-leading researchers as members’.
The organisation is hosting a series of meetings at the upcoming COP26 climate change conference of political leaders which starts next week in Glasgow.
The Climate Strategies website states that it ‘works at the science-policy interface, advancing climate policy through meaningful interactions between decision makers and researchers across Europe and internationally.’
Mrs Lancaster was pictured being arrested on September 20 during a protest blocking the M25, and was then seen again two days later taking part in another demonstration outside the Home Office, where she wore a placard, saying: ‘Louise Lancaster, teacher & mother, best investment to reduce CO2, Insulate Britain’
She was also one of the two women activists who were filmed sitting in the road last week when they were ‘nudged’ along by a Range Rover driven by furious mother Sherrilyn Speid, 34, who had her school run delayed in Thurrock, Essex.
Mrs Lancaster was one of the two women activists who were filmed sitting in the road last week when they were ‘nudged’ along by a Range Rover driven by furious mother Sherrilyn Speid, 34, who had her school run delayed in Thurrock, Essex
MailOnline can reveal Mr and Mrs Lancaster live in a cul-de-sac in Grantchester, the idyllic village featured in the ITV detective drama of the same name. Their house is around 400 yards from the home of Tory peer and novelist Jeffrey Archer.
The couple are known in the village as dedicated eco-campaigners, and drive a white Renault Zoe electric hatchback car worth around £20,000 which was sitting on their driveway today.
A sign stuck to their door said: ‘A package has been left that contains an Order of the High Court and you need to read it immediately and take legal advice. If you need another copy please call Mr Abbey Ameen of Transport for London.’
The couple’s son Tristan, 24, who answered the door, said: ‘They are not around.’
When a journalist pointed to the note on the door, he added: ‘They do that every day.’
He admitted that his mother had been arrested a number of times and said that she and his father were staying down in London ‘for a bit’.
Tristan confirmed his mother was a teacher, but said: ‘She had to leave her job for a bit just because schools are concerned about activism. You would think they would be open to it.’
Speaking of his father, he added: ‘For a long time, he has been very well informed on climate issues’.
Tristan also defended his parents’ green credentials, saying they only had the one car. He added: ‘If we need to do long journeys, we ride share with other people.’
He claimed that the family had also spent money on trying to improve the energy efficiency of their house, putting in extra insulation in the attic.
Tristan said: ‘It takes a lot to insulate a place like this – but we have done everything we can to improve the energy rating.’
Neighbours refused to comment about the couple. One said: ‘I don’t think anyone in the street will speak to you.’
But one villager said: ‘Tim and Louise are well known around here for their environmental campaigning. People just let them get on with it.’