Committee Members

Climate Week Committee Members​ brought together global leaders, each a beacon of hope. In a bustling auditorium, diverse voices merged, weaving a tapestry of ideas. Energy pulsed through the air as they shared innovative solutions and bold commitments. With eloquence and passion, they painted a picture of harmony between nature and humanity. The audience, inspired and determined, left with a renewed mission to forge a greener future. The panel had ignited a fire, illuminating the path to a sustainable tomorrow.

Dr. Nirmala Menikpura

Director, Enviura Consultancy, United Kingdom

Dr. Nirmala Menikpura is a seasoned LCA/carbon/waste specialist with over 20 years of international experience in environmental technology and research. With a remarkable track record of collaborating with prestigious organizations such as the Ministry of Environment UK, World Bank, Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and UNDP, she has developed comprehensive global-level climate models across diverse sectors. Dr. Menikpura’s expertise lies in quantitative analysis and modeling in areas including energy, textiles, electronics, waste and agriculture, providing valuable insights for enabling decision-making and policy recommendations. Recognized for her significant contributions to climate change research, she has been honored in Marquis Who’s Who in the World and ranked among Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists in 2023-2024.

Gordon Huang

University of Regina, Canada

Dr. Gordon Huang is a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Energy and Environment, and Executive Director of the Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities at the University of Regina, Canada. He holds BSC from Peking University (China), MSc from Simon Fraser University (Canada) and PhD from McMaster University (Canada). Since the 1990s, Huang has led or been involved in over 100 environment-related research projects, produced over 600 peer-refereed international journal papers, and supervised over 100 Master/PhD students. He is the president of the International Society for Environmental Information Sciences. He has also served the United Nations as an international expert in the field of risk management for drinking water safety. The integrated simulation, optimization and risk assessment techniques which he proposed have been used by peers in studying water resources and environmental systems in a number of countries.

Marshall Mermell

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer at Advanced Resilient Biocarbon, USA

Marshall Mermell has helped transform organic and inorganic waste into resources, including electricity, heat, Biochar, and Elemental Char.  In 2014, Mermell presented a keynote talk, “Commercialization of Biochar,” in Scotland for the European Union’s Cooperation and Science and Technology group known as the EU COST Action TD1107 on Biochar; and became Co-Chair of Working Group 3.  Mermell holds an MBA in marketing management; in 2015, he earned a certificate in Biochar Training for Environmental Sustainability and Economic Development at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain; and received certification in Green Bonds and Climate Bonds by the EU in 2022.

Azzeddine Oudjehane

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Canada

Dr. Azzeddine Oudjehane an Instructor from the BSc CPM at SAIT. Azzeddine joined SAIT in 2012, to teach in the Bachelor of Science in Construction Project Management program and develop applied and scholarly research opportunities that meet the needs of Alberta’s construction industry. With over 30 years of experience leading multi-disciplinary projects in R&D, business innovation and market development he has worked with various stakeholders from Academia, Government and Industry. Azzeddine holds graduate degrees in both Applied Science and Business Administration.

Maurizio Filippo Acciarri, is associate professor of Physics at UNIMIB. His research is mainly addressed to the study of photovoltaic cells and more generally to the physical aspects of energy efficiency and energy storage. In this area, he studied CO2 capture from industrial fumes and use. He is the coordinator of the GEM (Green Energy Management) Summer School and is president of the international network “SILKWAY – Energy, Connectivity, Environment, People” made up of universities, local and international stakeholders and other external partners from Europe and Central Asia. He participates to the Network for the Sustainable Development of Universities energy working group as a contact for UNIMIB for the energy sector and he is the coordinator of the Energy Committee of the Milano-Bicocca University.

Hans-Joachim Ziesing

Cologne University, Germany

Dr Hans-Joachim Ziesing is a Senior Policy Advisor at Ecologic Institute. From 1969 to 2006, Hans-Joachim Ziesing worked at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin (DIW Berlin). He started as a researcher and from 1982 to 2004, he headed the department “Energy, Transportation, Environment”; from 2004 to 2006, he was Senior Executive. As of 2007 he works as an independent consultant. He is Managing Director of the “Working Group on Energy Balances” since 1994, responsible for the energy balances in the Federal Republic of Germany. Since October 2011 Dr Hans-Joachim Ziesing is a member of the energy expert commission, which supports the monitoring process “Energy of the Future”.

Eeva Kuntsi-Reunanen

Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland

Eeva Kuntsi-Reunanen works as a senior researcher in the Weather and Climate Change Impact Research unit at Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). She is currently acting as a head of Climate Change and Innovation Research group at FMI. The focus of the group is on reconciling climate change and innovation-oriented research with predictions and views of the future foresight studies. The group examines impacts of weather and climate change for mitigation and adaptation policies and efforts, with emphasis on the economic dimension. Kuntsi-Reunanen has a PhD in Economic Geography. Before her career in FMI, Kuntsi-Reunanen used to work at the Finland Futures Research Centre on energy and climate policy related issues. Her fields of expertise are CO2 emissions and intensity development, scenario and model development and burden sharing as well as future emission targets. Currently she works on issues related on economics and impacts of climate change.

Kartlos Joseph Kachiashvili

Georgian Technical University, Georgia

Prof. Kartlos Joseph Kachiashvili is Professor of Georgian Technical University, Faculty of Informatics and Control Systems. Also he is Senior Scientific Worker of the I. Vekua Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Tbilisi State University (Tbilisi, Georgia) and Senior Scientific Worker of Muskhelishvili Institute of Computational Mathematics. He was working in many scientific research institutes and universities in Georgia, Russia and Pakistan on the positions: engineer, scientific worker, Head of Laboratory, Head of Department, Head of National Center, Professor, Rector of Institute. He has 225 scientific papers published in various esteemed reputable International Journals. He is a Member of Various Professional Bodies and Editorial Boards of international scientific journals. He published seven monographs and three text-books in Georgia, Ukraine, USA and Indonesia. He has received many prestigious awards and rewards. His research interests are: Mathematical Statistics, Data Analysis (Environmental, Agricultural, Medical), Mathematical Mo¬deling and Simulation, New Computer Technologies Development, System Analysis (Environmental Water Pollution), Com¬pu¬ting Mathematics.

Marieke van der Werf

Chair of the Dutch CCU-Alliance, Netherlands

Chair of the Dutch CCU-Alliance, Initiator of the Taskforce Negative Emissions in The Netherlands and Partner of the International Public Affairs-agency Publyon. Former member of the Dutch Parliament.
Marieke van der Werf started her career as a communications consultant. She specialized in sustainability, which became a driver for all her further activities. Marieke lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and was a member of the City Council for some years. In 2010 she became a Member of the Dutch National Parliament for the Christian Democratic Party (CDA), where she was a spokesperson on energy and circular economy. Currently Marieke is partner in the international Public Affairs Company Publyon. She advises companies active in the energy-transition and/or circular economy on transitional strategy in combination with policy development by the government

Michael Ghil

founder of theoretical climate dynamics and of advanced data assimilation , France

Professor Michael Ghil is a founder of theoretical climate dynamics and of advanced data assimilation. He has applied systematically dynamical systems theory to atmospheric and oceanic flows and to the whole-Earth system. His studies of climate variability on many time scales have used a full hierarchy of models, from the simplest ‘toy’ models all the way to Earth system models. Recently, he has contributed to data analysis and modeling in macroeconomics, population dynamics, and coupled climate-economy-biosphere modeling. Ghil has authored or edited a dozen books and co-authored over 350 papers in a variety of fields. He played a key role in national and international projects, is a member of several national academies, and has garnered a few top-level honors. He is currently Professor (emeritus) at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (France), Research Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles (USA), and Visiting Professor at Imperial College London, London (United Kingdom).


RONALDO SEROA DA MOTTA Professor of Environmental Economics at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), USA

Professor of Environmental Economics at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). Ph.D, in Economics at University College London. Lead Author do Chapter 14 Global Environment Outlook (GEO-7), Pathways for Transformation of Economic Models, UNEP, 2022-25. Former Technical Coordinator of the PMR Brazil – Sectoral Studies and Design Options for Carbon Pricing Instruments – Component 1, The Ministry of Finance, Brazil and the World Bank. Former Leading Author and Review Editor of IPCC – WGIII (AR3 and AR5). Former Research Coordinator at the Research Institute for Applied Economics (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada, IPEA) on Economic and Environmental Regulation Studies. Former Director of Policies and Programs at the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment. He has published several scientific article and books.

Carol Franco Billini

Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA

Dr. Carol Franco is an ecological economist with expertise in food security, ecosystem services and policies for economic development and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Dr. Franco is a Senior Research Faculty in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. She is currently the advisor of Nature-based Solutions for the Ministry of Environment of the Dominican Republic and a member of the Science-Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC) and an Advisory Board Member of Science Diplomacy Center of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI).e.

Juras Ulbikas

Senior researcher in Protech, Founder of Metsolar - Custom Solar Module manufacturing, Lithuania

Juras Ulbikas is holding doctor degree in natural sciences with main field of expertise in semiconductor physics and solar energy technologies. Main activities for the last 20 years are in the area of Si based photovoltaic technology research and commercialization.

Wai Yie Leong

INTI International University, Malaysia

IR Prof. Dr. LEONG Wai Yie is Pro Vice Chancellor at INTI International University, Malaysia. She received her PhD in Electrical Engineering and bachelor’s degree (Hons I) in Electrical Engineering from The University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane, Australia, in 2005 and 2000. She has authored 6 book series that highlight Electronics and Biomedical Engineering innovation. Wai Yie is currently the Immediate Past Chairperson of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (Malaysia Local Network), the Vice President of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) and Vice President of the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists, and Deputy Vice-Chair of World Federation of Engineering Organization (Women in Engineering Committee). She is the Chairman of IEM INFOPUB, IEM Chief Editor and IET Editor. She specializes in medical signal processing and telecommunications research.

Xiomara Acevedo

Founder and CEO of Barranquilla+20, Colombia

Xiomara Acevedo is an Internationalist, Climate Policy Professional, and Gender Justice Activist from Colombia. She is the founder and director of Barranquilla+20, a women and youth-led NGO dedicated to environmental conservation and social entrepreneurship. Xiomara is a Steering Committee Member of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, a postgraduate specialization in Climate Change, Cities, and Leadership from FLACSO Ecuador, and a master’s degree in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge. Xiomara has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to youth empowerment and environmental advocacy, including the TOYP (Ten Outstanding Young People of Atlántico, Colombia) award by the Junior Chamber International and the National Youth Volunteer Award in Environment by the UN and the Government of Colombia.

Renuka Thakore

Founder & CEO of Global Sustainable Futures Network CIC, UK

Dr Renuka Thakore, PhD, Founder of the Global Sustainable Futures Network, provides leadership to a global Network. Renuka is the winner of several Awards, including the “Star Volunteer Award 2023”, “Entrepreneurial Thinker 2023”, and the “Development Leadership: Governor Enrique Tomás Cresto Award 2022”. Renuka organises unique Global South Summits to increase the national capacities of Global South countries to respond to climate change. She is recognised for her vision, connecting academics, businesses, and individuals, bringing together Global South and Global North to involve them in climate adaptation resilience and transition. She has created a vibrant network that welcomes diverse sections and societies worldwide and is committed to ‘leaving no one behind.