Youth Advisory Council

We are proud to showcase the members of our Youth Advisory Council, we asked our members to answer three introductory questions to help you get to know them.

Gbemi Oluleye: Petrochemicals

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

The CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council is a unique platform for me to apply my expertise and experience to initiate and support conversations between multiple stakeholders from academia, business, finance, policy in achieving a sustainable transition for the economy. Being a member of the Youth Advisory Council also provides me the opportunity to participate in cross generational networking and put forward collaborative unconventional ideas to support clean growth in the petrochemical sector. As an Assistant Professor, and consultant for industrial decarbonisation with over 15 years combined experience in academia and the process industry, my vision is to accelerate the adoption of technological innovations to support decarbonisation of the energy intensive industries especially petrochemicals and this can only be achieved collaboratively in practise.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

The petrochemical industry is an integral part of society’s fabric. The entire process industrial sector was built around products from petrochemicals, and the petrochemical industry is also important in developing clean cutting edge technological innovations critical to climate change mitigation; yet has received less attention in policies and energy debates. The biggest problem would be to maintain the relevance of the sector whilst achieving clean growth cost-effectively. This can be overcome by exploiting the size of the sector globally through collaboration and effective policies.

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

The Youth Advisory Council can leverage the expertise of members to initiate conversations and publications that supports a global cross sectoral collaborative approach to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions i.e., some sort of shared ownership model. This is pivotal to accelerating the transition to a clean global economy cost-effectively.

Wen-Yu-Weng: Transport

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

YAC  provides an opportunity for me to create positive impact by working closely with CGLN’s networks of experts, leaders, organizations and CGLN trustees, while embracing the future-looking and interdisciplinary approach required to solve some of our society’s most significant problems. The problems we face are fundamentally interconnected, and they require policy, technology, commercial and social aspects to be scrutinised and addressed in lock-step with each other. I look forward to demonstrating the type of cross-sector collaboration by working closely with my fellow YAC members and other members via the CGLN platform.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

The transport sector consumes an immense amount of energy used globally, with a significant proportion of that energy met by petroleum derivatives. Unlike the progress made in power and industries in some economies, emissions universally have gone up for the overwhelming majority of countries. It is clear, therefore, that transport may be a bottleneck on the transition to a decarbonised and sustainable world. Furthermore, low-carbon technologies in transport may create additional challenges to green growth by manifesting through other types of environmental impacts (e.g., consider the heavily mineralised or resource-intense supply chains of electric vehicles, for example). The requirements for a 1.5 degrees-aligned development pathway are unbelievably difficult – not only would we have to decarbonise most of road and rail transport (where fortunately some solutions already exist and are rapidly accelerating, but automation and connected mobility can compound the environmental benefits further), we also would have to do the same for aviation and marine transport, which are unmeasurably harder and raise strong concerns on the ability for nations and organisations to effectively coordinate across boundaries. Therefore, whichever way you look at it, collaboration and coordination is key, and smart and sustainable transport is an exciting space for innovation and ingenuity across policy and behavioural approaches, technology and business.

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

YAC brings diverse expertise spanning across nine different sectors, and a range of capabilities, including but not limited to: finance, R&D, operations, strategy, policy, and technology. I hope to play a role in the YAC through facilitating dialogues, knowledge exchange, and debate between different stakeholders, while bringing my experience and expertise, to help break-down existing siloes and conveniently held orthodoxies in individual sectors.

Laetitia Pancrazi: Agriculture

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

I applied to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council for several reasons. I support the network’s approach to addressing the climate crisis: from raising awareness through thought leadership, networking, and science-based approaches, to encouraging multi-disciplinary systems thinking. I strongly believe that climate change will require systemic changes across several sectors and that only by breaking down the siloes between these sectors and industries can we find the most beneficial, innovative, and cost-effective solutions. Moreover, I want to raise the profile of the agricultural sector and its impact on the environment. The agricultural sector offers tremendous opportunities to shift to cleaner, regenerative processes that will deliver co-benefits to all of us. By collaborating with my fellow council members and the wider CGLN’ network, I want to showcase these opportunities and bring new impetus to calls to reform our food system.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

The Agricultural, Forestry and other Land use (AFOLU) sector contributes to around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Most emissions come from deforestation and agricultural activities, particularly those relating to livestock, soil, and nutrient management. In addition to being a major source of carbon emissions, the agricultural sector is one of the worst contributors to our biodiversity crisis; our exploitative practices having degraded our soil, disturbed bio-natural systems and pushed hundreds of species to extinction.

With global food demand projected to increase by 42% by 2050 and emissions associated with food production projected to increase to 35% of global GHG emissions, we urgently need to transform our entire agricultural sector if we want to meet our climate targets and more importantly feed our growing population. I believe it is this system-wide transformation that is the biggest challenge for the agricultural sector. Working across a complex and diverse supply chain, we will need to change livestock, crop and nutrient management practices moving towards circular, regenerative approaches. We will also need to change consumption behaviours of millions of people; from dietary choices to reducing food waste.

This is the challenge: eliminate waste, maximise food produced, re-use and re-purpose food surplus, transition to regenerative approaches, adopt new technologies, and restore nature. It is a multi-layered challenge; requiring an ability to focus on specific issues whilst retaining a system-wide perspective.

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

Our role is multi-faceted: from providing knowledge and insights, to raising awareness, from encouraging multi-systemic solutions to empowering others to act. We must provide science-based information that demonstrate how collaboration amongst different sectors and industries can drive beneficial transformation. We must advocate for societal and economic processes that do not threaten the youth’s ability to live on our planet. We must amplify the voices of young people; the voices that spearheaded the climate emergency declaration movement, the voices that are clamouring for immediate action, the voices that one day will be those of our future decision-makers.

Tackling the climate crisis will require trailblazing change across all our sectors and industries. The only way to do so, and therefore safeguard our collective future, is through collaborative knowledge-transfer, problem-solving, insight-sharing and solutions-mapping. The Youth Advisory Council is perfectly positioned to do exactly that.

Josh Warner: Mining

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

I see the Youth Advisory Council as a platform from which I can make a direct, positive impact on the green energy transition. Responsible mining is needed to help facilitate the growth of the renewable energy sector, and so by joining the CGLN, I hope that I can be an advocate for the inclusion of mining in conversations about climate change.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

I strongly believe that the most pressing issue mining faces is public opinion. Generally, over the last century, mining operations have not only destroyed environments and societies, they have also destroyed the reputation of mining as a whole. It is no surprise therefore that during COP 26 the topic of raw materials was almost missed entirely from the discussion. Without mining, the green energy transition will fail. There is simply not a high enough quantity, nor variety, of metals currently in global circulation to enable energy production to change to renewables. While improvements in recycling can and will help, it can only be used as a supplement with mining. Therefore, seeing as mining must play a crucial role in the future, it is vital that discussions are had as to how to do it in a responsible, conscious way. And this is where the challenge comes in; people are understandably unwilling to have these discussions due to the negative opinions surrounding the extractive industry. The mining sector needs to overcome this problem, by showing itself to be a respectable industry, so that it can help enable the fight against climate change.

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

The YAC, through connecting people and sharing ideas, helps lead the conversations that are needed to be had in order to tackle the climate crisis. This is particularly exciting as it allows for younger voices to be heard where it matters.

Lucy Crane: Mining

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges that we all face, and to tackle it requires innovation. The CGLN brings together people from all across the clean growth ecosystem, and there must be so much power in this approach – I think it’s a really exciting way to approach this challenge and I was intrigued to find out more. Mining is often seen as part of the problem when it comes to climate change, but minerals are going to play a huge role in enabling us to transition from a carbon-based economy, so it’s great that the industry is represented in these conversations.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

Mining is accountable for up to 11% of global energy use, and the OECD forecasts that global materials demand will more than double from 79bn tonnes in 2020 to 167bn tonnes in 2060. There are huge opportunities for the mining industry to decarbonise, and it can have a significant global impact. I think many people don’t fully appreciate how mineral intensive the energy transition is going to be, so it’s more important than ever that we explore for and extract these minerals, which are vital for low carbon technologies, in the most responsible manner possible.

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

The Youth Advisory Council represents nine key sectors which are going to be critical in delivering clean growth. Through our networks we can foster collaboration across sectors and perhaps provide different perspectives to other network members.

Sapna Halai: Construction

 

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

I wanted to be a part of a community where I can grow my knowledge in wider sectors related to the climate crisis while meeting likeminded people. The Youth Advisory Council allows me to learn through my peers and while doing so, I can influence change both inside and outside of my sector.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

There are so many different stakeholders involved in the construction industry. There is lots of innovation happening right now and I think we will find the technical solutions, but to deliver sustainable and long-lasting outcomes we must think holistically across the whole life cycle of project; this includes conception, in-use and end-of-life disposal. To do this, we must get better at working collaboratively with one another to deliver solutions that can meet our wider SDGs and evolve to our future needs over time.

 

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

The Clean Growth Leadership Network is already doing great work in sharing knowledge to help tackle the climate crisis. As young leaders still finding our feet in our sectors, the Youth Advisory Council can challenge the way things are done, bringing a fresh new perspective to the climate crisis. I hope we can help to break down some of the existing barriers between sectors and encourage more creative thinking.

Jingyuan Xu: Energy

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

The CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council provides me a perfect platform for the ‘youth voice’ in the CGLN. I am eager to connect network with leaders in the clean growth space. Through the Youth Advisory Council, I would like to participate in meetings and working groups to exchange and test new ideas, to communicate with outstanding young people around the world, to expand networks with international experts in sustainable solutions. I have nine years’ experience in sustainable energy, and I would like to use my expertise to improve the CGLN and to contribute to a sustainable future.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

In my point of view, the overall challenge for energy transitions is the sustainable, low-carbon use of energy. It will require a significant shift in the historic pattern of fossil-fuel use and a major transformation of the global energy system. For a net-zero emission future, we need to focus on the development of next-generation sustainable energy technologies to minimize global primary-energy use and reduce CO2 emissions.

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

The Youth Advisory Council may invite outstanding young people to submit short papers with bright ideas, to break away from conventional thinking and establish new kinds of expertise. The council may also publish our own comments on key developments and innovations to give ‘youth voice’. We may also exchange new ideas with senior experts to dive deep into solving sustainable challenges.

 

Ben Santhouse: Climate Finance

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

My main reason for applying was that I am deeply excited about CGLN’s vision. I believe the Network offers a refreshingly pragmatic antidote to the popular rhetoric around environmental externalities. Rather than fearmonger, blame, or polarise, CGLN is setting out a platform for collaboration, cooperation, and participation to attempt to solve humanity’s greatest challenge. Bringing together scientists, policymakers, and business leaders is imperative, but we will only achieve this vision by engaging future leaders. That is where I hope the Youth Advisory Council will come in.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

 I’m not sure that I would propose one “biggest problem” in the climate finance sector. To identify a single “biggest problem” would do a disservice to the sector’s intricate complexities.

However, I would suggest that the situation can be summarised by the “five Ws”: what, when, who, where, why.. Firstly, we still need to identify “what” climate finance means; there are significiant ambiguities in definition and scope, and the UNFCCC’s own Standing Committee on Finance has created a situation where it is reluctant to provide firm guidance. We then need to consider the “when”; despite the pledges made under the likes of GFANZ, timescales remain quite murky and the concept of a 2050 deadline can be misleadingly comforting. The next challenge is to identify “who” needs to be financed, especially for public institutions with limited funding – do they target assistance for capital-rich but mobile and expertise-heavy corporates that can create the most impact, or focus on small projects that are more likely to have broader SDG benefits? “Where” will these interventions take place – can the risk profiles of investing in climate-vulnerable, often developing nations, be overcome in the private sector? Finally, the “why” is about the motivations for doing this – are we targeting adaptation or mitigation, profit maximisation or social good, etc.? The answers to all these questions remain unclear. As such, the lack of an effective single globally-recognised framework for climate finance creates significant issues. 

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

I hope that we’ll be able to provide a platform for connecting future change-makers with the leaders of today. While perhaps a little idealistic, intergenerational cooperation is the only way we will be able to solve this crisis. And I believe within both CGLN and the Advisory Council that our broad range of knowledge and expertise can assist in this.

Reza Mirfayzi: Energy (Nuclear)

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

In the past five years as a researcher in Japan, Imperial College and currently working at a leading fusion company, Tokamak Energy, I have continuously dreamed of making a positive impact on the world’s major problems e.g. making fusion happen and solving the climate crisis. I am always intrigued by innovations, ideas, and challenges, and that is largely because of my scientific background and attitude. My primary research included laser beam fusion at Osaka University, and later fusion via magnetic confinement. Further, innovating techniques in particle acceleration and nuclear diagnosis.

After getting to know about the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council, finding more about its structure and getting to know its members, I came to a realisation that this is a place for me to write and provide an in-depth view to the policymakers and leading experts, in other words, to share, and make an impact. I further like to help the industry I work in, by providing a better understanding of its current progress and upcoming advances to the public.

I believe by being part of the CGLN’s Council I can grow with the network and be part of a bigger community.

 

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

With the increase in the world’s population and the rise of industrialisation in developing nations, our hunger for energy consumption is reaching an unprecedented level. Humans’ appetite is not ending here as we are approaching a new era where along with publicly funded research laboratories, private industries lunge to take an extraordinary step to provide an unlimited source of energy.

So Far, more than half of our energy comes from fossil fuels extracted deep from our planet which started from the mid-nineteen century, and later in the 1950s, the nuclear power plants shed new light on the history of mankind. As of today, our energy consumption is reaching over 150 thousand Tera-Watt hours per annum which is used to run our factories, heat up our homes and drive our cars. This indeed can be linked to the rise in greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, consequently the climate crisis. Here, in my opinion, the challenge is how to reduce or even eliminate the potential damages while keeping our factories, cars and heating system running?

And I believe the answer can be summarised into suitable energy management while exploring new sources of energy, making the existing ones more efficient, and leading the market and finances in the right place where changes are profitable and desirable to all.

 

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

Global warming and its effect on climate are one of the biggest challenges in the world. The individual expertise on the Youth Advisory Council of the CGLN can help to provide a better understanding of the current expectations, the upcoming technologies, and how they can potentially support the legislator’s strategies and policies. I am very positive that with the experts the CGLN network is putting together, we will have a better understanding of where we are and where we are heading.

Piera Patrizio: GHG Removal

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

I saw YAC as a great opportunity to share my insights on the challenges and opportunities associated with Greenhouse Gas removal (GGR) technologies, an essential and integral part of the race to Net Zero.

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

The GGR sector currently lacks a market to support the deployment of these approaches. To contribute to solve the climate crisis in a meaningful way, supportive policies and governance are needed so that successful business models can emerge. At the same time establishing a framework for regulation and oversight for the ongoing audit of captured and stored carbon will be crucial in the next few years.

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

The YAC members will leverage their scientific and professional expertise, to influence the discourse around the key challenges and opportunities associated with the transition to Net Zero.

Ashley Victoria - Manufacturing

1: Why did you apply to join the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council?

I am passionate about using my voice to help drive positive change, and I want to help make a difference as we move towards a more sustainable future. I was keen to bring individuals and organisations from different sectors together to initiate conversations, and drive solutions to improve our climate situation. I felt that CGLN youth council would be the ideal way for me to be involved in growing a network that can help make this happen and bring my growing experience and skills to a worthwhile initiative.

 

2: What’s the biggest problem your sector needs to overcome?

I think we need to strengthen the links between industry and academia across all stages of the supply chain, and understand the challenges faced by companies working to implement sustainable operations into their business. We have made great steps in developing improved technology and processes, and it is now more important than ever to ensure that innovation can be integrated into the businesses that deliver key value chain products. I also believe that policy and regulation could play a key part in supporting industries such as the consumer goods industry for example, and educating companies on what the best solutions are, for their market.

 

3: What role can the Youth Advisory Council of the Clean Growth Leadership Network play in tackling the climate crisis?

We can help to initiate conversations between different areas of the manufacturing supply chain and cover the entire life cycle of a product or material. By making these links, we can better understand how one sector can affect another, and develop better educational channels for consumers, and businesses.