Joan Walley was elected Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent between 1987 and 2015. During her 28 years in office, she acted as Shadow Spokesperson for Transport (1990 to 1995) and Shadow Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1988 to 1990). As a leading champion of environmental policies within parliament, she made a significant contribution to the promotion of environmental science and sustainability, raising the profile of issues such as climate change, sustainable transport and renewable energy. In June 2010, Joan was elected as Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee by the House of Commons. During her time as Chair, the Select Committee produced approximately 45 reports from publications on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on bee populations to recommendations for safeguards which should be in place to allow fracking. In 2015, Joan became Chair of the Aldersgate Group.
She was elected as an IES Honorary Fellow in December 2016.