Once a week Michael Liebreich has a conversation with a leader in clean energy, mobility, climate finance or sustainable development. Informational, inspiring and fun!
Ep46: Angelina Galiteva 'California's Clean Energy Dream'
Angelina Galiteva has been appointed Chair of the California Independent System Operator’s Board of Governors in 2020, after a decade spent on the Board as a member.
Angelina is the founder & Chair of the Board of Renewables 100 Policy Institute. She is also a Renewable Energy Expert Speaker at the US Department of State.
Angelina’s carer in energy started in 1994 when she was a Power Services Analyst at the New York Power Authority. In 1997 she became an Executive Director at the LA Department of Water and Power. Angelina has experience in private sector as well - in 2003 she founded NEOoptions, a renewable energy and new technology product design firm.
Angelina is a lawyer by education: she holds a J.D. and LLM Degrees, with a specialization in Environmental and Energy Law
Ep45 Catherine McKenna 'Powering Canada Past Coal'
Catherine McKenna is a Canadian Liberal politician serving as the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities since 2019. Before that she was the Minister of Environment and Climate Change for 4 years.
Her ministerial mandate includes ensuring infrastructure investments support just economic growth and the clean energy transition. Her ministerial mandate includes, inter alia, delivering of “accessible affordable, active and zero-emissions transit options”, “investing in large-scale building retrofits and clean power” and “continuing to close the infrastructure gap in Indigenous communities, particularly with respect to affordable housing”.
Before taking the infrastructure and communities portfolio, Catherine was in charge of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. She was appointed just before COP21 in Paris and played a significant role during the summit.
Catherine is a lawyer by education: she co-founded Canadian Lawyers Abroad, now called Level, a charity through which Canadian lawyers are able to work on pro bono cases around the world. She has also worked in leading Canadian and Indonesian law firms and was a negotiator with the United Nations mission in East Timor.
Catherine holds degrees from the University of Toronto, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and McGill University’s Faculty of Law. A mom of three, avid swimmer and canoeist, Minister McKenna is a long-time resident of the Glebe in Ottawa.
Minister Catherine McKenna: 'We need to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies' (May 2021)
McKenna: Five years after the Paris Agreement, we’ve reached a new tipping point on climate change (December 2020)
Ep 44: James Thornton 'Enforcing the Laws of Nature'
James Thornton is the CEO and founder of ClientEarth, a leading environmental law organisation in Europe. Since its establishment in 2007, ClientEarth tackled world’s most pressing environmental issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and toxic chemicals using advocacy, litigation and research. ClientEarth now operates globally with offices in London, Brussels, Warsaw, New York and Beijing.
Before this, he was a Senior Lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Los Angeles for 9 years. His role involved setting up the citizens' enforcement project specifically working on the Clean Water Act under the Reagan Administration. In 6 months he successfully won 60 cases in federal courts.
Named by the New Statesman as one of the top 10 people who could change the world and one of the top 100 lawyers practising in the UK, James is at the forefront of utilising the legal system and advocacy to create real climate action. In 2016, The Financial Times awarded him its Special Achievement Award at the Innovative Lawyer Awards.
James Thornton is a Zen Bhuddist and started a meditation organisation for environmental activists called Positive Futures. James was born in New York and studied at Yale University
ClientEarth launches major climate change movement (April 2021)
A Conversation With James Thornton, Founder of ClientEarth – One of the World’s Most Ambitious Environmental Organisations (December 2020)
Michael Liebreich: Climate Lawsuits – An Existential Risk to Fossil Fuel Firms? (September 2019)
Ep 43: Nigel Topping 'Racing to Zero'
Nigel Topping was appointed UK High Level Champion for Climate Action in January 2020. His role involves bringing together different stakeholders in the #racetozero. His vision is to create a bigger role for non-state actors within the climate conversation, which he successfully managed in the Paris Agreements.
Nigel Topping’s Official Bio
Nigel Topping appointed UK High Level Climate Action Champion (January 2020)
We need to green the economy while restarting it – Nigel Topping’s Ted Talk (June 2020)
How to turn climate ambitions into reality: Q&A with Nigel Topping (January 2021)
Race to Zero Campaign
Between 2015 and 2019 Nigel was the CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy. He has also held leadership positions at CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) for 7 years.
Before focusing on climate action, he worked in the private sector for over 20 years in manufacturing and supply chain. His career has taken him all over the world, including emerging economies like Brazil, India, and China.
Nigel holds a BA in Mathematics from Cambridge University and an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College.
Ep 42: Thomas Nowak 'Pumping Heat'
Thomas Nowak is the Secretary General of the European Heat Pump Association - he’s an expert on heating and electricity. Thomas is a man who walks the talk – he’s a proud owner of a heat pump and a solar power plant.
In 2006, Thomas Nowak was appointed as the Secretary General of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA). His role in Brussels involves promoting heat pump technology as a viable and efficient tool for the future. EHPA achieves this goal by producing reports with key data as well as representing the industry to the European institutions and stakeholders.
As an expert in the industry, Thomas has presented his research in articles and conferences in international and European conferences. They have largely been about the integration of heat pumps in the energy market. Moreover, he has contributed to the IEA energy technology perspectives and the REN21 Renewables Global Status Report.
Thomas holds a degree in business administration and economics from Paderborn University.
Ep 41: Sharan Burrow 'Just Transition or Just Talk?'
Sharan Burrow has been the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation since 2010. In her role she represents 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories with 331 national affiliates and is the first woman to have this position. Sharan Burrow has been the person behind some of the biggest union negotiations regarding labour rights and economic reforms both in Australia and internationally.
Before becoming the General Secretary of the ITUC, Sharan held other leadership positions in the organisation. She also led the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 2000 to 2010. Her role as President saw the introduction of Paid Paternal Leave in Australia, a huge win for women’s rights.
As an advocate for the environment, labour rights, and women’s rights, Sharan’s career has taken her to important positions including a Board Member of the UN Global Compact, Panel Member of UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, Vice Chair of the B Team, Commissioner for the New Climate Economy, Ambassador for the Food and Land Use Coalition, the Wellbeing Alliance, the World Benchmarking Alliance, Chair of the Just Transition Centre and Member of the WEF Global Future Council on the Future of Production. Moreover, she was also the co-chair of the inaugural WEF Global Technology Governance Summit in 2021.
Sharan Burrow was born in New South Wales to a family very active in the labour movement. She graduated from the University of New South Wales in teaching.
How to fix a broken labour market (March 2021)
As the World Economic Forum convenes this week will people and their environment be centre stage? (January 2021)
Summary of the debate between Max Roser and Jason Hickel (December 2019)
The ILO Centenary Declaration