PLENARY SPEAKERS

PLENARY SPEAKERS

Alasdair Adey

Alasdair is Vice Chair of the RTPI SYPN and employed as an RTPI chartered planning consultant with Arcus Consultancy Services Ltd, an environmental, engineering and planning consultancy based in Glasgow, York and South Africa. A resident of Glasgow, Alasdair has a strong interest in promoting the positive role planning can offer in delivering positive contributions to facilitate emissions reduction, increasing energy generation from renewable sources, improving energy efficiency, and combating climate change.


Roseanna Cunningham

Roseanna Cunningham was born in Glasgow in 1951 but spent most of her early years in Edinburgh and East Lothian. In 1960, she travelled to Australia with her family and subsequently completed her schooling in Fremantle, Western Australia and obtained her first university degree from University of Western Australia.

She was elected to the House of Commons in the Perth and Kinross by-election in 1995, was re-elected in 1997 and subsequently stood successfully for the Scottish Parliament in 1999. She stood down from Westminster in 2001.

Ms Cunningham held a number of local and national offices in the SNP, including Deputy Leader from 2000-2004.

She has remained a member of the Scottish Parliament from 1999 to present and has been a Committee Convener for the Justice Committee, the Health Committee and the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee. She became Minister for the Environment in 2009 and Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training in November 2014.


Elizabeth Dirth

Elizabeth is the former Chair of the 2050 Climate Group, having recently stepped down from the position in April 2017. She is one of the founding members of the 2050 Climate Group, and held the position of founding Vice Chair from 2014 to 2016 before holding the position of Chair. During this time she oversaw the group’s development from its first days as an idea to its current status as a SCIO. She has twice spoken on behalf of the organisation internationally at UNFCCC conferences (COP21 and COP22). In her role as Vice Chair and Chair, Elizabeth also sat on a number of working groups, panels and committees to represent the voice of young people on climate change in Scotland and further afield. In 2016, Elizabeth returned to education to pursue an MSc in Sustainable Development to further specialise in climate governance. Prior to this Elizabeth worked for Keep Scotland Beautiful on delivering climate action in the public sector and in communities across Scotland.


Joel Meekison

Joel Meekison having finished school this year in Glasgow will start studying Public Relations at Queen Margret University after summer. He has been advocating for youth engagement as a Glasgow Youth Councillor for the last two years and recently worked closely on a strategic plan to implement UN Convention on the Rights of the Children’s into Scottish policy.
Prior to speaking, he conducted an investigation with young people across Glasgow to better understand their views on environmental issues – what they think is working, and what they think needs to change.


Diogo de Gusmão-Sørensen

Diogo de Gusmão-Sørensen post-graduated in Environment Sciences at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) in 2002. In 2003 he joined the Environment Agency for England and Wales, where he managed flood risk. In 2007 he was bestowed the Climate Hero award by the Environment Agency for mapping inundation due to sea-level rise for the first time in England. In 2008 he moved to the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter (England) where his scientific career focussed mainly on sea-level rise, climate adaptation and impacts. In 2013 he launched Scientinel in Denmark, and mapped coastal inundation for the entire planet. Having sold his startup, in 2015 he joined the European Commission where he currently heads Climate Services within the Climate Action and Earth Observation unit in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.


Lolita Jackson

Lolita Jackson currently serves as the Special Advisor to Climate Policy and Programs in the NYC Mayor’s Office. She administers activities for New York City’s participation in 100 Resilient Cities, pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as C40, the United Nations, ICLEI and other global climate and resilience networks.  Lolita is also the primary liaison to US domestic and international governments for NYC in the area of climate.  Lolita is part of the team responsible for OneNYC, NYC’s overall resilience plan.  Prior to her appointment to this role, she has held numerous positions within the Mayor’s Office since 2006. Immediately after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, she was named to the management team of the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency, which produced NYC’s resiliency plan A Stronger, More Resilient New York, and was named Director of External Affairs of the Housing Recovery Office.  Lolita was previously Director of Special Projects for the NYC Mayor’s Office, where she was in charge of operational city agencies for the Second Avenue Subway and Barclays Center projects, and Manhattan Director of Community Affairs.

Prior to her career in government, Lolita was Vice President for Morgan Stanley Investment Management, where she worked for over a decade in sales, marketing and business development and helped manage a $10 billion product line. She is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering.  In her spare time, Lolita is Royal Society of Arts US Chair, British American Project US Advisory Board Chair, President of the Penn Class of 1989, a member of the US-Japan Leadership Program Fellows Advisory Council, and a professional jazz singer performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2017.


Dr. Jill Jäger

Jill Jäger is an independent scholar based in Vienna, Austria. She has a PhD in Geography (Climatology) from the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA. She has worked at a diverse range of institutions, including the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, where she was Deputy Director from 1994 to 1998. Dr. Jäger was Executive Director of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) from 1999 until 2002. In addition to contributing numerous scientific publications in books and scientific journals, she has participated in a range of research projects focusing on integrated sustainability assessment, vulnerability to climate change, and sustainability science. Currently she is a work package leader in the IMPRESSIONS project and a task leader in the GREEN-WIN project.


Baroness Brown of Cambridge DBE FREng FRS (Julia King)

Baroness Brown is an engineer. She sits as a crossbench member of the House of Lords. She is Vice Chair of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Sub-Committee.

She also holds the following positions:
Chair of the Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials
Non-executive director of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
Chair of STEM Learning Ltd.
Non-executive director of the Green Investment Bank
UK Low Carbon Business Ambassador

Her previous roles include: senior engineering and manufacturing  positions Rolls-Royce plc; academic posts at Cambridge University, Nottingham University and Imperial College; and Vice Chancellor of Aston University.


Claus Kondrup

Claus Kondrup, Acting Head of Unit, from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Climate Action has expert knowledge and extensive experience with climate action in and outside Europe, including climate change impacts, vulnerabilities, risks and adaptation as well as the mainstreaming of climate action  into EU policies and funds.


Stephanie Lyons

Stephanie Lyons advises on climate change and water security for WaterAid’s global policy team. Her work is focused on helping decision-makers create more coherent, evidence-based policies on climate change adaptation, water resources management, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). As part of this, she advocates for increased understanding and recognition of the needs and rights of the poorest and most vulnerable populations in both climate and WASH policies. Over the past decade Stephanie has worked across a range of climate change and water policy problems within national government policy agencies, civil society and international organisations, with a focus on adaptation, resilience, the international climate negotiations, and the global sustainable development agenda.


Dr Paul McAleavey

Paul McAleavey is based in Copenhagen where he is responsible for the European Environment Agency’s work in the areas of climate change and air quality, as well as the sectors of energy and transport. He also has a cross-cutting responsibility at the Agency to further develop its work on policy evaluation.

Dr McAleavey has a degree from the University of Strathclyde in his home country of Scotland as well as a PhD from the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. Having previously worked as a Senior Economic Researcher at the Scottish Office Industry Department, he joined the European Commission in Brussels in July 1995. He held several posts in the European Commission before joining the European Environment Agency in January 2005.


Hans-Otto Pörtner

Hans-Otto Pörtner studied at Münster and Düsseldorf Universities where he received his PhD and habilitated in Animal Physiology. As a Research and then Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Council he worked at Dalhousie and Acadia Universities, Nova Scotia, Canada and at the Lovelace Medical Foundation, Albuquerque, NM. Currently he is Professor and Head of the Department of Integrative Ecophysiology at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research, Bremerhaven, Germany. He acts as an associate editor “Physiology” for Marine Biology and as a co-editor of the Journal of Thermal Biology. He was Honorary International Associate Member of the Society for Integrative Biology, USA, between 2006 and 2013. Until the end of 2014 he served as a Coordinating Lead Author of IPCC WGII AR5, chapter 6, Ocean Systems and as a member of the author teams for the WGII Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary, as well as a member of the Core Writing Team for the IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report. In October 2015 he was elected Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC. His research interests include the effects of climate warming, ocean acidification, and hypoxia on marine animals and ecosystems with a focus on the links between ecological, physiological, biochemical and molecular mechanisms limiting tolerance and shaping biogeography and ecosystem functioning.


Andrea Tilche

Andrea Tilche obtained his Doctor Degree in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Milano in 1978. His scientific career was mainly carried out in Italy where he set-up and directed the wastewater treatment laboratories of ENEA in Bologna. In 1998 he moved to the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission as Head of the Water Research Unit, and later moved to Brussels to lead the Water Key Action in the 5th Framework Programme. After other appointments in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, since 2010 he is Head of the Unit “Climate Action and Earth Observation”. He represents the EU at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in other international fora.