Confirmed speakers include:
Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, Republic of Ireland
Presentation title: Climate Justice: The way to accelerate ambition for a safe world
Mary Robinson is President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.
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She served as President of Ireland from 1990-1997 and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. She is Chair of The Elders and a member of the Club of Madrid and the recipient of numerous honours and awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the President of the United States Barack Obama. She sits on the advisory board of Sustainable Energy For All (SE4All) and is also a member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. Between 2013 and 2016 Mary served as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy in three roles; first for the Great Lakes region of Africa, then on Climate Change and most recently as his Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate.
A former President of the International Commission of Jurists and former chair of the Council of Women World Leaders she was President and founder of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative from 2002-2010 and served as Honorary President of Oxfam International from 2002-2012.
Mary Robinson serves as Patron of the Board of the Institute of Human Rights and Business, is an Ambassador for The B Team, in addition to being a board member of several organisations including the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the European Climate Foundation. She serves as Chancellor of the University of Dublin since 1998. Mary’s memoir, Everybody Matters was published in September 2012.
Professor of Political Economy, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Presentation title: presentation title: Conceptual and strategic conflicts within climate justice
Patrick Bond’s work is presently focused on geopolitics, local and global political ecology, and South African, Zimbabwean, African and global uneven development. Since moving permanently to South Africa in 1990.
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He has written books about global governance, national public policy, urban problems and environmental stresses, especially climate change. In service to the new South African government from 1994-2002, Patrick authored/edited more than a dozen policy papers, including the Reconstruction and Development Programme and the RDP White Paper.
Patrick’s other academic appointments include serving from 2004 through April 2016 as Senior Professor and Director of the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Two sabbaticals were spent at the University of California/Berkeley (2010) and York University in Toronto (2003). From 1997-2004 he was based at the Wits School of Governance. He has held other visiting posts at a dozen universities and presented guest lectures at more than 100 others.
He is also regularly featured on South African television and radio news shows and writes columns for the main newspapers at least once a month. His dozen authored, co-authored and edited books are amongst the most cited on South Africa’s democratisation process, including Elite Transition (2000, 2005, 2014 edns), and his two books on Zimbabwe (1998, 2003) have a similar status. His Politics of Climate Justice (2012) was named amongst the three leading books in the genre by The Guardian.
Patrick earned his doctorate in economic geography under the supervision of David Harvey at Johns Hopkins University (1985-92), and has an undergraduate economics degree from Swarthmore College (Philadelphia, 1979-83), including a semester studying classical guitar at the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, 1982). He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and raised in the U.S. state of Alabama.
Kristie L Ebi
Professor of Global Health, University of Washington, USA
Presentation title: Health risks of a changing climate can increase climate injustice
Kristie L. Ebi is director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), and Rohm and Haas Endowed Professor in Public Health Sciences at the University of Washington.
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She has been conducting research and practice on the health risks of climate variability and change for more than twenty years, including on extreme events, thermal stress, foodborne safety and security, and vectorborne diseases. She focuses on understanding sources of vulnerability, estimating current and future health risks of climate change, and designing adaptation policies and measures to reduce the risks of climate change in multi-stressor environments. She has supported multiple countries in Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific in assessing their vulnerability and implementing adaptation measures.
Chief Executive, Met Office, UK
It is my privilege to lead this successful and highly respected organisation, working at the forefront of weather and climate science, technology and operations. We constantly strive to harness the Met Office's world class capabilities for greater societal benefit.
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I gained my first experience of scientific research as a sixth form WISE Scholar at GEC before completing a degree in Natural Sciences at Newnham College Cambridge.
For the majority of my career I have delivered science and technology on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Prior to joining the Met Office in December 2018, I was Acting Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and Head of the Cyber and Information Systems Division of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The division had many areas in common with our work at the Met Office including web and data science, space systems and weather, radar and other sensor systems. As CTO I oversaw Dstl’s entire £650m portfolio of research, and trebled our pipeline of innovation and new intellectual property, a strong interest of mine.
I began my career as an armour researcher, developing novel armour systems to protect military vehicles, then led several groups in Dstl’s Physical Sciences Department before taking over as the department manager in 2009. During this time I was appointed Fellow of the Institute of Physics and served as a member of their governing council. I have been a visiting professor in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton since 2012.
At Dstl, I was the executive sponsor of our Gender Equality Network and an active straight ally for our LGBT network. As a site incident manager for Porton Down I was also a trained County Silver Commander for major incident response. A lifelong lover of the natural environment I was trustee and honorary treasurer of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust until my move to Exeter.
Benjamin K. Sovacool
Professor of Energy Policy, University of Sussex, UK
Presentation title: Decarbonisation and its discontents: A critical justice perspective on four low-carbon transitions
Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool is Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the School of Business, Management, and Economics, part of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.
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There he serves as Director of the Sussex Energy Group and Director of the Center on Innovation and Energy Demand which involves the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester. Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to energy policy, energy security, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change
Executive Director, MADRE, USA
Presentation title: Weathering the storm, Seeding the future: A women's vision for climate justice
Yifat Susskind partners with women's human rights activists facing war and environmental disaster in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa to create locally-rooted programs that meet urgent community needs and build lasting social change.
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Yifat leads MADRE's combined strategy of grantmaking, capacity-building for women’s empowerment and human rights advocacy. Coupling this expertise with her extensive writing on US foreign policy and international issues, Yifat works to support movements for social justice and women’s human rights. Her writing and critical analysis have appeared in online and print publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy in Focus, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post. She has been featured as a commentator on CNN, National Public Radio, and BBC Radio.