Conference panellists and session chairs
Abaño, Imelda - President of Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists
Award-winning Philippine environmental journalist and media trainer Imelda Visaya-Abaño is the founding president of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists. Today, she is vice president of the Philippine Agricultural Journalists, Inc. She is also editor of the Philippine EnviroNews and a contributing writer for the Thomson Reuters Foundation. A pilot media scholar of the UNFCCC, she has been covering climate change, energy, agriculture, biodiversity, and other environmental issues for over 18 years. Recently, she has been leading a series of climate change and energy journalism workshops in the Philippines. Visaya-Abaño was a member of the board of the US-based Society of Environmental Journalists, and was one of the Council of Partners leaders and media mentors of the Earth Journalism Network (EJN). She is also the co-author of 'Klima 101: A Climate Change Guidebook for Philippine Journalists', which was published in March 2017.
Alfter, Brigitte - Managing Editor of Journalismfund
Brigitte Alfter is co-founder and managing editor of Journalismfund.eu, a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing investigative cross-border journalism in Europe and beyond. Journalismfund.eu also hands out research grants and provides networking opportunities, such as the annual Dataharvest working conference. Besides developing the organisation’s European activities, Alfter has spent the past decade working as a freelance cross-border journalist with teams of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), and as a journalism lecturer, mainly at the University of Roskilde. Previously, she worked as a Brussels-based EU correspondent for the Danish daily Information for four years. Alfter holds an MA in European journalism from the University of Southern Denmark.
Christoph Bals is the policy director of the environmental and development organization Germanwatch. In 1991 he was a founding member of this NGO and has been engaged since then in the politics of climate and development. He is a board member of the "Stiftung Zukunftsfähigkeit" (Foundation for Sustainability), the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) which is pushing for insurance for the people of developing countries against climate risks, and the Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI). Bals is also member of political coordination of the international Climate Action Network and in the speaker board of Klimaallianz. Bals has taken part as an active observer in all the UN climate summits to date. He has co-initiated many political initiatives in the area of climate and development as well as climate and economics - the European Business Council for Sustainable Energy, e-mission 55 and atmosfair, for example. Bals studied theology, economics and philosophy in Munich, Belfast, Erfurt and Bamberg.
Brookes, Tom - Executive Director Strategic Communications and Executive Management at the European Climate Foundation (ECF)
Tom Brookes became executive director, strategic communications, of the European Climate Foundation’s (ECF) Executive Management Team in 2014, after having joined the organisation in 2009 as managing director of the Energy Strategy Centre. Brookes started his career as a journalist, covering technology, regulation, and broader European politics, and moved into communications, public affairs, and media relations in the late 1990s. He dealt with regulatory and standards issues at Alcatel, and later joined an international public affairs consultancy representing Microsoft as press spokesman and acting as political advisor to Microsoft’s CEO and general counsel. He also worked as director of government affairs, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Apple. Brookes is also senior advisor on international strategic communications for the ClimateWorks Foundation and executive director of the Global Strategic Communications Council.
Cazan, Raul - Editor-in-Chief at 2Celsius Network
Raul Cazan is co-founder and coordinator of the Romania-based European environmental organisation 2Celsius, and editor-in-chief of the organisation’s region-wide environmental media platform 2Celsius Network. For more than five years, Cazan has been communicating the EU’s biodiversity and climate change-related policies on this platform, which is dedicated to the green economy and to containing the effects of climate change in Central and Eastern Europe. He has also worked as an environmental expert and consultant in Brussels, Italy, and Eastern Europe. Cazan holds two Master’s degrees in local development and political science from the Central European University in Budapest and the University of Trento, with a focus on research in environmental communication and media studies.
Cooke, Kieran - former Foreign Correspondent (BBC, Financial Times), Editor at Climate News Network
Kieran Cooke is a former senior foreign and economic correspondent for both the BBC and the Financial Times, as well as a member of the team of veteran journalists running the Climate News Network. This free and independent media service publishes daily stories on climate and energy issues. Its aim is to promote the fact-based coverage of climate change. Cooke also continues to contribute to the BBC and a wide range of international newspapers and radio networks. In recent years, he has focused on environmental issues, and has graduated with distinction in environmental conservation from Oxford University. He trains and mentors journalists around the world under the auspices of the UN Environment Programme and other organisations, including an extensive training programme for journalists in the Himalayan region.
Angelina Davydova is an environmental and climate journalist, and a member of the board of Germany-based international journalist network n-ost. This non-profit organisation seeks to improve the media coverage of Eastern Europe through various networking activities and publications. Davydova was a fellow at the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and has been publishing in Russian and international media outlets, such as the Kommersant, The St. Petersburg Times, The Conversation, Open Democracy, Science Magazine and Klimaretter.info. Davydova is also head of the German-Russian Office of Environmental Information; a long-standing official observer of the UN climate change negotiations (UNFCCC); and a lecturer at Saint Petersburg State University’s Faculty of Journalism.
Dehmer, Dagmar - senior environmental journalist and communication expert on the energy transition and climate topics
Dagmar Dehmer is one of Germany’s most distinguished environmental journalists. Since 2001, she has worked as political editor at the German daily Tagesspiegel, responsible for environmental reporting, with a focus on climate change and energy transition. She was also in charge of establishing Tagesspiegel Background Energy & Climate, an exclusive policy briefing for the energy and climate sectors. She became head of corporate communications at the federal company for radioactive waste disposal (BGE) in October 2017. In 2010, Dehmer won the Environment Media Award from the non-profit association Environmental Action Germany (DUH).
Dembski, Felix - Vice President Strategy Sonnen GmbH
Felix Dembski is vice president strategy at sonnen, the leading manufacturer of networked home storage systems. Sonnen’s products allow customers to generate, store, and share their own energy. A lawyer by training, Dembski received his education in Berlin, London, and San Francisco. He specialises in energy, IT, and network regulation. Prior to joining sonnen, Dembski was the head of smart grids and energy at Bitkom, the German digital association for four years.
Diehn, Sonya Angelica - Environment Team Leader at Deutsche Welle (DW)
Sonya Angelica Diehn is environment team leader at Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster, where she acts as lead editor on environmental topics in various mediums. She's worked as an environmental reporter and editor for more than a decade, focusing on biodiversity, climate change, and translating sustainability into daily life. Sonya has freelanced around the world, and previously worked as a reporter, bureau chief and environmental editor for the Courthouse News Service. She got her start in citizen journalism in 1999 working through social and environmental movements.
Egenter, Sven - Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Clean Energy Wire
Sven Egenter heads the Clean Energy Wire as editor-in-chief and executive director. He covered the German, Swiss and British economies during his 12 years at Reuters, writing extensively about the financial crisis. He ran the team covering the British economy as Chief Economics Correspondent, UK in London and managed Reuters' editorial operation in Switzerland as Acting Bureau Chief in 2010. Before his career as a journalist, he worked for the EXPO2000 World Exhibition in Hannover. He taught journalism at Kingston University and holds a MS in Journalism from Boston University and a degree in economics from the University of Münster.
Fahn, James - Global Director of Internews’ Environmental Programs and Executive Director of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN)
James Fahn is the global director of Internews’ Environmental Programs and the executive director of Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN). EJN is a global community of over 10,000 environmental reporters. It seeks to empower journalists, particularly those from developing countries, through training programmes, by establishing new networks of environmental journalists, and through a variety of other capacity building efforts. Fahn has also managed Internews’ Burma country programme for several years, and was the co-founder of the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists. He is the author of A Land on Fire, a book about the issues he covered and adventures he had as an award-winning journalist in Southeast Asia. Fahn has published stories in many newspapers, including The New York Times, Newsweek, The Economist, The Nation (Thailand) and The Jakarta Post. He is also an adjunct professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Flasbarth, Jochen - State Secretary in the Environment Ministry
Jochen Flasbarth has been state secretary in the environment ministry since 2013. From 2009 until 2013 he was president of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA). Between 2003 and 2009, Flasbarth served as Director-General for Nature Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources at the environment ministry. Between 1994 and 2003, he held the post of president of Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), the German affiliate of Birdlife International. Jochen Flasbarth studied economics, political science, and philosophy in Münster and Bonn. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) was established in 1986 in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, under Helmut Kohl's government. Its mandate includes climate policy, and in 2013 the policy areas of building and urban design were added to its remit.
Goering, Laurie - Climate Editor at the Thomson Reuters Foundation
Laurie Goering edits the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s daily news website on the humanitarian and development impacts of climate change. As part of her work, she created and mentors a network of over 100 developing world climate change journalists. The website she runs has won a broad range of awards, including the Society of Publishers in Asia award in 2016 and the Asian Environmental Journalism award in 2013 and 2015. Prior to joining the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2009, she worked for 15 years as a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune newspaper based in New Delhi, Kuwait, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Havana, Mexico City, and London.
González, David - Editor at Connectas
David González is an investigative journalist and a member of the Editorial Board of CONNECTAS, a non-profit cross-border journalism network that connects and supports reporters in their coverage of key topics concerning Latin America. González was head of the Research Unit of the newspaper El Nacional in Caracas, Venezuela. He also was the main editorial consultant at the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) of Venezuela. He led the team that won the Inter American Press Association’s (IAPA) Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Inter-American Relations Award in 2013, and was a member of a group of Latin American reporters who received the award again in 2016. González also oversaw or coordinated teams that were twice nominated for the Gabriel García Márquez Award.
Dr Grotewold, Lars - Director Centre for Climate Change Stiftung Mercator Foundation
Dr Lars Grotewold heads the Centre for Climate Change at Stiftung Mercator. Since 2009, when he joined the foundation and built up the Centre for Climate Change, Stiftung Mercator invested more than 80 mio. Euros in projects to deliver effective climate change mitigation. The foundation’s work focuses in particular on a successful implementation of the energy transition in Germany as a means to trigger ambitious climate change mitigation globally. Grotewold was responsible for the creation of numerous new institutions like the Agora Energiewende, Agora Verkehrswende, Clean Energy Wire or the Mercator Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). He is a member of several advisory bodies to the Federal, State and regional governments. Being a molecular biologist by training, he used to work for several research institutes in Germany and the UK and also for the National Council for Science and Humanities in Cologne before joining Stiftung Mercator.
Gupta, Joydeep - South Asia Director at news website and journalism network The Third Pole
Joydeep Gupta is director of The Third Pole and Indian Climate Dialogue projects, run jointly by chinadialogue.net and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. He writes and commissions articles on climate change, biodiversity, pollution, and sustainable development for these two environmental news websites focusing on the wider Hindu Kush Himalayan region and India. Gupta covered the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and many other UN climate summits since then. He has reported for the Indo-Asian News Service, The Statesman, The Sunday Observer,and Sunday Mail, and is the secretary of the Forum of Environmental Journalists in India. For his contributions in the field of environmental journalism, Gupta won the 2012 Green Globe Award at the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit. He teaches development journalism to postgraduate students at Jamia Millia Islamia, a public central university in New Delhi. He is a lead trainer at workshops for environmental journalists from South Asia and South-East Asia.
Karath, Kata - freelance science journalist (Quartz, New Scientist)
Kata Karáth is a freelance science journalist focusing on the complex connection between conservation, economics, and politics. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including Quartz, Science Magazine and New Scientist, and she has produced, or contributed to, a number of scientific and environmental documentaries that appeared in Quartz, BBC, Sky, Al Jazeera, and Animal Planet. She was Hungarian Science Writer of the Year nominated by the Club of Hungarian Science Journalists, and a finalist for the European Science Writer of the Year title in 2017. Karáth holds a BS in zoology from Szent István University in Hungary, and an MS in science journalism from City, University of London.
May, Hanne - Head of Energy Consulting at Edelman.ergo
Energy communication expert and journalist Hanne May is head of energy consulting at communication agency Edelman.ergo. She is specialised in communication concepts and strategic consulting in the energy sector, and has advised national and international public institutions as well as private companies and associations on topics such as the German energy transition and European energy and climate policy. Before joining Edelman.ergo, May was deputy managing director of the German Wind Energy Association and, for ten years, served as editor-in-chief of the renewable energy magazine ‘new energy’ / ‘neue energie’. Since 2013, May has been on the selection committee of the New Energy Pioneers award (Bloomberg New Energy Finance), and was also involved in selecting the winners of the Renewable Energies Agency’s (AEE) Media Award.
Morris, Craig - Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam
Born in the United States, Craig Morris (@PPchef) has lived in Germany since 1992 and worked in the energy sector since 2001. He is currently a senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany, and is the co-author of Energy Democracy, a history of Germany’s Energiewende (energy transition) as a grassroots movement (Palgrave 2016). He has served as technical editor of both editions of IRENA’s REmap since 2013 and of the 2015 edition of Greenpeace’s Energy (R)evolution. In 2008, he cofounded Berlin’s PV Magazine; in 2010, Renewables International. In 2012, he became lead author of EnergyTransition.com. Since 2002, he has also authored articles and books in German and served as editor for numerous German periodicals in the energy sector. In 2014, he won the International Association of Energy Economists’ prize for energy journalism.
Mohn, Carel C. - Director Media Programmes, Clean Energy Wire
Carel Mohn develops the workshops as director, media programmes, for the Clean Energy Wire. Previously, he worked as Communications Director, Germany at the European Climate Foundation. He was Head of Communications at the DIW economic think tank, spokesman for the consumer advocacy association vzbv and built up the first media team in the founding years of Transparency International. He holds a degree from the German School of Journalism in Munich and a degree in political science from the Free University of Berlin.
Nuthall, Tim - International Communications Director, European Climate Foundation
Tim Nuthall is the international communications director of the European Climate Foundation (ECF). He joined the organization in 2009 as the media manager. In his current role, he co-directs the work of a global network of communicators focused on climate and energy - the Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC). The GSCC spans 14 countries and works to leverage traditional and social media in order to change the conversation on climate and energy. Nuthall is responsibile for network management, new media and the Americas. He began his career with the Labour Party in the UK, working as a political organizer and then in the press office, where he became head of press under Gordon Brown. He moved from London to Brussels in 2008 and worked for Fleishman Hillard as an account director. Tim studied at the Universities of Edinburgh and Vienna and has a Masters Degree in Politics and German.
Dr Painter, James - former Director of Journalism Programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University
Dr. James Painter was director of the Journalism Fellowship Programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) for the past eight years. He stepped down in September 2017, and is now a visiting professor at the Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research (IPMZ) at the University of Zurich and at the University of Navarra in Pamplona. He joined RISJ after several years at the BBC, and now focuses on studying climate change coverage in the international media, regularly writing on the issue, and addressing academics, journalists, policy makers, and scientists at major international conferences. He has also carried out several consultancies for Oxfam, UNDP, Conservation International, and other organisations on the impact of climate change in Latin America and South East Asia.'
Parker, Meaghan - Board of Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ)
Meaghan Parker is a long-standing member of the board of the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), where she represents the associate members and serves as co-chair of the Membership Committee. SEJ, the leading North American association for environment and energy journalists, seeks to strengthen journalism to advance public understanding of environmental issues. Parker is senior writer and editor for the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C., where she edits the think tank’s award-winning blog, the New Security Beat. She was lead editor and co-author of “A New Climate for Peace: Taking Action on Climate-Fragility Risks,” which was commissioned by the G7 Foreign Ministers; and the supervising producer of ECSP’s award-winning documentary trilogy, “Healthy People, Healthy Environment”.
Christoph Podewils gained his journalistic experience in the field and also collected several years of experience in the renewable energies industry. Before joining the German-based think tank Agora Energiewende in 2013 he was been Deputy Editor at solar power magazine Photon for some years. From that position he followed the rapid development of photovoltaic from close-up and gained many experiences in the energy industry. From 2002 to 2003 Christoph Podewils worked as a science journalist for Deutschland Radio, from 2003 to 2005 as a science editor at the Berliner Zeitung and subsequently at the Renewable Energies Agency until 2007.
Rice-Oxley, Mark - Head of Special Projects at The Guardian
Mark Rice-Oxley has been a journalist for 25 years, specialising in international affairs. After spells as a foreign correspondent working in Moscow, the Balkans, Paris, and London, he joined the Guardian as an international editor in 2003. In his current role as head of special projects, he leads a team of journalists investigating international trends and issues, ranging from climate change to refugees, and mental health to money laundering and inequality. He also engages in philanthropy-funded journalism, ensuring editorial independence and originality across Guardian projects underpinned by the generosity of British, European, and American foundations.
Dr Rödiger-Vorwerk, Tania - Head of Division ‘Environment and Infrastructure’, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Dr Tania Rödiger-Vorwerk has served in multiple positions for the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Currently she is Dep. Director General at Directorate 31 – Environment and Infrastructure. She has led bilateral development policy and cooperation with Southasia, crisis prevention and peace building, human resource development and has served as Director Strategy and Planning.
The experienced lawyer supported former Federal President of Germany, Prof. Dr. Horst Köhler, in his function as member of the United Nations High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Develop-ment Agenda for UN SG Ban Ki-moon as “Sherpa” - heading the cross institutional shaped Sherpa-Staff.
Rusbridger, Alan - former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian
Alan Rusbridger was editor-in-chief of the Guardian from 1995 to 2015, and led the news outlet to an Emmy and a Pulitzer Prize. He also received numerous prestigious awards himself, including the Liberty Human Rights Award, the European Press Prize, the Ortega y Gasset Journalism Award, and Harvard University’s Goldsmith Award or Lifetime Achievement. Rusbridger is now principal of Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford. He is also a member of The Scott Trust, which owns the Guardian and the Observer. Rusbridger's career began at the Cambridge Evening News, where he trained as a reporter before first joining the Guardian in 1979. He was also a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and is a visiting professor of history at Queen Mary's College, London, and Cardiff University. He has honorary doctorates from Lincoln, Oslo, and Kingston Universities. In his final months as the Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Rusbridger self-imposed a deadline to actively address what he felt was a critical global concern —climate change. By launching a groundbreaking information campaign endorsed by the secretary general of the United Nations, former US Vice President Al Gore, Prince Charles, and several Nobel Prize winners, he attracted more than 400 institutions and 2,000 individuals to commit 2.6 billion to environmentally responsible investment projects.
Sieber, Andreas - Program Manager at ClimateTracker
Andreas Sieber attended his first UN climate conference at the age of 17. He has worked for several NGOs and as the coordinator of press analysis for the Saxon State prime minister before he became a journalist. He has published on climate politics in leading national media in Germany, the Philippines, and India. The Guardian named him as one of the top-12 young climate professionals in 2015. He currently works as Program and Partnership Manager at Climate Tracker, a global network of more than 6,000 young journalists in over 120 countries.
Søgaard, Julie - Chair of the The Danish Association of Energy and Environmental Journalists (FEM)
Julie Søgaard is chairperson of the The Danish Association of Energy and Environmental Journalists (FEM), and an independent climate and environmental journalist, communicator, and moderator. FEM was set up as the result of a merger of two former associations, Danish Environmental Journalists and Energy Journalists, E-1995. It aims to increase its members' knowledge of, and interest in, energy, climate, nature, and environment-related issues through organising meetings, debates, and study trips. Søgaard is also a former presenter and producer of the radio programme 'Klima og Miljø' (Climate and Environment) at P1, the station operated by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. She holds an MS in geography and journalism from Roskilde University.
Stang, Michael - science journalist and ambassador for international journalism network hostwriter
Michael Stang is a science journalist based in Cologne, and an ambassador for the cross-border, non-profit journalism platform hostwriter. The platform seeks to facilitate a global community of journalists by helping them connect, meet, and collaborate on projects. Stang represented hostwriter at the World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco in October 2017, and he hosted a panel discussion on cross-border journalism there. An award-winning science & research journalist, Stang also works for German public radio stations, such as Deutschlandfunk and WDR, focusing on the interplay of politics, economy, and society.
Turmes, Claude - MEP, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance in the European Parliament
Claude Turmes is a member of the Greens/European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament. The Luxembourgish politician has been an MEP since 1999. He held the position of vice president of the Greens/EFA Group between 2002 and 2014. Turmes is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the coordinator on energy issues for the Greens Group. He was rapporteur on the internal electricity market in 2003; the Directive on Renewable Energy Sources (RES) in 2008; and the Energy Efficiency Directive in 2012. In 2017, he was appointed rapporteur on the governance of the Energy Union, and shadow rapporteur on the revision of the RES Directive and the proposal on electricity market design. In February 2017, Turmes published the book ‘Transition énergétique – une chance pour l'Europe’ (‘Energy Transformation – An Opportunity for Europe’).
Prof Wormer, Holger - Head of Science Journalism Department at TU Dortmund University
Prof Holger Wormer heads the Department of Science Journalism at TU Dortmund University, as well as the university’s medien-doktor.de (Media-Doctor) project, which monitors environmental and health coverage based on a catalogue of criteria. He studied chemistry with emphasis on environmental chemistry and philosophy in Heidelberg, Ulm and Lyon. Between 1996 and 2004, Wormer was Science Editor at the German national daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. There, he was specialised on life sciences and environmental issues. His research focus lies mainly on quality and ethics of science reporting. Wormer received several awards for his work, and was nominated TOP 3 “Journalists of the Year” by the German-language medium-magazin. One of his books was awarded as “Science book of the year 2012" in Austria.
Yassen, Leena - regional coordinator for Climate Tracker in the MENA
Leena Yassin is a chemical engineer and was the youngest journalist from Africa to ever cover a UNFCCC COP. Her work is published in the three biggest newspapers of Sudan as well as international publications. Lina is a member of the Young African Leaders Initiative and Young Arab Leaders. She currently works as the regional coordinator for Climate Tracker in the MENA.