The participants are invited to put forward a possible dialogue structure, and highlight some specific content on climate policy issues on which further dialogue is needed.
Climate activist, writer and student
Josephine Becker hosts the Yikes Podcast, which focuses on climate justice, anti-oppression and general “allyship”. On her blog @treesnpeace, she expands on this and advocates for system change.
When not online, Josephine is doing her MSc in Sustainability and Behavior Change, with a focus on Degrowth, Environmental Justice and transformation.
Climate activist, Youth and Environment Europe (YEE)
Ergi Bregasi is an Albanian climate activist. He holds a degree in veterinary medicine. He is currently a member of the Executive Board of the Youth and Environment Europe (YEE), the biggest independent youth-led environmental network in Europe. He also works as Project Coordinator of the "Green Economy for an Advanced Region" project, supported by the EU. The project aims to increase the activities and impact of civil society organizations from Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, B&H and Macedonia in the environmental protection and to promote green economy.
Climate activist, Youth for Climate
Adélaïde Charlier is a Belgian human rights and climate activist, organiser of the movement ‘Youth for Climate’. Adélaïde was also the Belgian representative at Amnesty International. In 2019, she crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a sailing boat with a project called ‘Sail to the Cop’, which goal was to reach the COP25 in Chile without stepping on a plane. In South America, Adélaïde attended also a summit in the Amazon Forest, Brazil. She is currently a student at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Climate and social activist
Camille Étienne is a French climate and social activist. She lobbies around political and economic leaders. Spokesperson for the French movement On Est Pret, she also created an artistic duo called Avant l'Orage making short movies and performing on stage to raise awareness about climate emergency.
Jana Hartman Radová,
Since 2015, Jana Hartman Radová has been Head of the Brussels Office of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SPCR) and its Permanent Delegate in BusinessEurope. She coordinates the work of SPCR in European affairs with a particular focus on Internal Market issues. Since 2020, she has been Vice-Chair of BusinessEurope Internal Market Committee. In 2020, she also became a member of the European Economic and Social Committee and its Sections for the Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT) and for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC), among other things.She has working experience from the European Commission, the Czech Business Representation to the EU, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, the Škoda Auto company and the Czech Trade Promotion Agency. She graduated from the University of Economics in Prague with a master´s degree in International Business and a minor specialization in Project Management. She studied at the University Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires.
EESC Vice President for Communication - Moderator
Cillian Lohan graduated from University College Cork and University of Ulster with Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees. He has worked extensively in the corporate sector and in the environmental sector. He is a leader in the field of Circular Economy. He was the inaugural Chair of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform which he helped to establish. He is an experienced delegate at United Nations initiatives such as the Climate COP negotiations, and the High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals.
As CEO of Green Economy Foundation, Cillian has overseen ambitious projects including the planting of over 1 million trees in Ireland, and the establishment of a Wildlife Reserve in Tobago.
Senior sustainable development officer
Jan Mayrhofer is leading the European Youth Forum’s work on economic transition and the climate crisis, coordinating the actions of over 100 member organisations across Europe. His work involves organising and conducting capacity-building workshops as well as policy writing and advocacy towards the EU institutions and the UN on sustainability- and climate-related topics. He previously held positions in both the private sector and environmental think tanks and NGOs in Brussels, Berlin and Delhi as well as consulting for Oxfam International on inequality and environmental policy. Jan has published articles on climate policy in various outlets and peer-reviewed academic journals. He holds an honours degree in International Development Studies Research from University of Amsterdam.
Climate and environment activist
Nathan Méténier is 21-year-old climate and environment activist. Nathan is one of 7 members of Antonio Gutierrez’ Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change. He is part of the main youth climate networks in Europe, notably as Advocacy Manager of Youth and Environment Europe, co-founder of Generation Climate Europe and the only young member of the European Environmental Bureau.
Activist and Environmentalist
Agata Meysner is the Director at Generation Climate Europe, the largest coalition of youth-led networks on climate and environmental issues at the European level. She is an activist and an environmentalist driven by empowering young people to become changemakers in their communities. Agata has experience in youth engagement and representation in decision-making processes, multi-stakeholder collaborations as well as EU advocacy and campaigning on climate and environmental issues. Agata is from Poland and is currently based in the UK.
Climate activist, Fridays For Future
Line Niedeggen was born 1996 in East-Germany and lived on an ecological farm in her first years of life, but then grew up close to Cologne. After graduating high-school she started studying physics in Bonn and finished her bachelor degree three years later. During that time Line started getting involved in environmental activism with Greenpeace. After finishing the program she went abroad for about one year. Back in Germany Line supported the protests in the Hambacher forest. Since April 2019 she lives in Heidelberg and studies physics in the Masters programm, specializing in Environmental Physics. Also since April 2019 she is involved in the local, national and international organisation of the Fridays for Future protests with various tasks concerning mainly strategic and communication management.
European Development Days (EDD) Young Leader
Chibunna Ogbonna is an EDD Leader from Nigeria. He is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Kiru Energy LLC formerly Renewcycle Energy Limited, leading the team to implement renewable energy solutions for target customers in Africa. With a background in Chemical Engineering from the Federal University of Technology Owerri and a diploma in Sustainability and Circular economy from Lagos Business School he developed his interests in renewable energy, entrepreneurship and sustainable development. He currently volunteers with Student Energy as the Regional Coordinator for Sub Saharan Africa on the Global Youth Energy Outlook Project.
Activist and Environmentalist
Alicia O'Sullivan is an activist from Skibbereen, West Cork, Ireland and a Law student and Quercus Scholar for Active Citizenship at University College Cork. She joined Cork County Comhairle Na nÓg in 2016 and has been part of a group successful in working on the reform of sexual education in Ireland.In 2019 she was titled Lions Club Youth Ambassador for Ireland. Alicia was Irelands Youth Representative to the United Nations first Climate Summit and successfully campaigned for Irelands Climate Youth Council. Sin the past she has been Education Officer at the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union and is now the Environmental Officer at her University’s Students’ Union whilst working on many projects including the US Climate Envoy, John Kerry’s, climate initiative World War Zero which she is a co-founder of.
Head of Earth System Analysis, University of Postdam
After studying physics at the Universities of Ulm and Konstanz and physical oceanography at the University of Wales (Bangor) Stefan Rahmstorf completed a thesis on general relativity theory and obtained his PhD in oceanography at Victoria University of Wellington in 1990. After this he worked as a scientist at the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute, at the Institute of Marine Science in Kiel and since 1996 at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. His work there focuses on the role of the oceans in climate change.
Since 2000 he teaches Physics of the Oceans as a professor at Potsdam University. Rahmstorf is a member of the Academia Europaea and served from 2004-2013 in the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). In 2017 he was the first scientist outside the US to be awarded the Climate Communication Prize of the American Geophysical Union.
Climate and social justice activist
Valentina Ruas is a climate and social justice activist from Brazil, currently based in Portugal. She is part of the Fridays for Future movement, where she focuses her work on the direct influence between the climate crisis and social issues that affect communities mainly in the Global South. One of her purposes is to encourage youth to mobilize to fight for their right to coexist within a safe environment, in addition to raising awareness for the inclusion of marginalised voices in international spaces and advocating for an intersectional climate education. CONFIRMED
EESC member – President of NAT Section
Peter Schmidt – EESC member – President of NAT Section
Born in 1962, Peter Schmidt's first occupation was cheesemaker. Later on he was a regional officer of the NGG trade union (Food and Catering Union, affiliated to the DGB) for 27 years, in charge of dairy industries and bakeries. Since 2014 he has been a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)'s Group II (Workers). From 2015 to March 2018, he was the president of the EESC's Permanent Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems. From April 2018 to September 2020, he was the president of the EESC's Sustainable Development Observatory and one of the three EESC members steering the work of the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, a joint initiative by the EESC and the European Commission. Since October 2020, Peter is the President of the NAT Section of the EESC, responsible for Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.
EU Youth Coordinator within the European Commission
Biliana Sirakova is the EU Youth Coordinator since June 1st, 2021. She is a European Commission civil servant since 2010. Her educational background is in Economics and Management, with a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in the US. She has eighteen years of professional experience across the public, private and non-profit sectors. Biliana’s work has revolved around building and managing relationships with diverse stakeholders, and communicating for impact and learning.
Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal
Frans Timmermans is the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal and European Commissioner for Climate Action since 2019. Between 2014 and 2019, he served as First Vice-President of the EU Commission, in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Mr Timmermans was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands from 2012 to 2014 and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2010, in charge of European Affairs. Prior to his political activity as a member of the Dutch House of Representatives for the Labour Party, he worked in the diplomatic service of the Netherlands.
Mr Frans Timmermans holds a bachelor’s degree in French language and literature from Radboud University and Postgraduate courses in European Law and French Literature from the University of Nancy.