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TOP 10 most read Thought Leaders in Climate Change in 2022

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By illuminem

· 7 min read


Enjoy our 2023 Thought Leader rankings on Climate ChangeCarbonSocial Responsibility, Energy and Overall

At we take pride in calling ourselves the “home of sustainability” and in providing a global platform for renowned Thought Leaders to address & constructively debate the most pressing challenges of our time.

Climate Change poses an existential threat to the future of our planet, with consequences that will reverberate for generations to come. Its impacts are already being felt around the world, from rising sea levels, and more frequent and violent natural disasters to food and water scarcity, ecosystem disruptions, and biodiversity loss. Preventing further Climate Change will require immediate and sustained action from all individuals, governments, and businesses across the world. Today, we are honored to recognize and thank the most-read experts and change-makers who are shaping the debate on Climate Change, Adaptation, Effects, Mitigation, and other related topics on

Please help us congratulate our TOP 10 Climate Change Thought Leaders of the year!

1️⃣ Ashish Kothari - Founder, Kalpavriksh & Member of the Board of Directors, Greenpeace and Greenpeace India
Country: India
Latest Thought Piece: Highways to unsustainability
Profile: Ashish Kothari is a globally recognized environmentalist who has spent over 40 years of his career tackling key environmental and climate change related issues. Ashish is the Founder of Kalpavriksh, a non-profit organization working on environmental and social issues at a local, national and global levels. Besides this position, Ahsish has held several positions of leadership as a member of Steering Committees of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), and a coordinator for 'India’s National Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan'. Ashish has also served on the Indian Government’s Environmental Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects to formulate the Biological Diversity Act & National Wildlife Action Plan. Ashish has authored and edited over 30 books and 300 articles such as: “Environment and Human Rights”, and “Sharing Power”.

2️⃣ Wil Burns - Professor, Northwestern University & Co-Director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy, American University
Country: United States of America
Latest Thought Piece: Can Kelp Help? The Potential Role of “Ocean Afforestation”
Profile: Dr. Wil Burns is a Visiting Professor in the Environmental Policy & Culture Program at Northwestern University. Wil has held several teaching positions in renowned universities such as the Founding Co-Director of the Institute for Carbon Removal Law & Policy at American University, and as the Director of the Energy Policy & Climate program at John Hopkins University. Much of Wil’s career has been focused on advancing knowledge and understanding of key environmental issues and has been the President of the Association of Environmental Studies & Science and the Co-Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment at American University.

3️⃣ Thierno Alassane Sall - Fmr. Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy Development of Senegal and MP, National Assembly of Senegal
Country: Senegal
Latest Thought Piece: The dawn of African climate action
Profile: A telecommunications and civil aviation engineer by training, Thierno Alassane Sall is now one of the most influential policy makers in Africa, having held several senior government positions in Senegal since 2012. Thierno has been a key member in promoting clean energy and environmental policies as the Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy Development, and the Minister of Infrastructures and Transports of Senegal. During this time, he has also been the Director General of Telecommunications. Thierno is the President and Founder of the new political party ‘République des Valeurs’ and is now a Deputy in the National Assembly of Senegal.

4️⃣ Richard Munang - Deputy Director UNEP, United Nations Environment Program
Country: Kenya
Latest Thought Piece: Fixing the Plastic Pollution Problem: Implications for Africa
Profile: Dr. Richard Munang is currently the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Africa Regional Climate Change Coordinator and Acting Regional Deputy Director. RicharI has been a pivotal member in steering UNEP's climate-resilient development strategy and has successfully led the execution of several adaptation and mitigation initiatives on the African continent. Dr. Munange is a renowned thought leader in the field of environment and climate change development, with over 500 published articles in international journals and magazines and as the author of "Making Africa Work Through the Power of Innovative Volunteerism". For his efforts, Richard has received several recognitions including the Africa Green Champion Award, Environmental Hero Award, and UNEP’s Baobab Award for Programme Innovation in 2016.

5️⃣ Alicia García-Herrero - Chief Economist for Asia Pacific, NATIXIS & Senior Research Fellow, Bruegel
Country: Hong Kong
Latest Thought Piece: Will China use climate change as a bargaining chip?
Profile: Alicia García-Herrero is the Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at Natixis, a globally renowned investment advisory firm. She also serves as a Senior Fellow at Bruegel, a Belgian Think Tank which focuses on improving the quality of economic policies. Alicia also holds several teaching positions as a Senior Fellow at the East Asian Institute (EAI) of the National University Singapore (NUS), and as an Adjunct Professor at HKUST Business School. Ms. García-Herrero is also a Member of the Council of Advisors on Economic Affairs to the Spanish Government and an advisor to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s research arm (HKIMR). Alicia is globally recognized for her efforts and is very active on international media (BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC or CNN) as well as in social media. Alicia was nominated TOP Voices in Economy and Finance by LinkedIn in 2017.

6️⃣ Charlie Donovan - Senior Economic Advisor, Impax Asset Management & Fmr. Executive-Director at the Centre for Climate Finance, Imperial College
Country: United States of America
Latest Thought Piece: Are Business Schools Blocking Climate Action?
Profile: Charlie Donovan has dedicated his career to harnessing capital markets for a global shift towards clean energy, climate resilience, and nature-based solutions. He is a Senior Economic Advisor at Impax Asset Management, a firm dedicated to investing in opportunities that arise from the transition to a more sustainable global economy. At the same time, Charlie is a Visiting Professor of Sustainable Finance at the University of Washington in Seattle. Mr. Donovan has held several positions of leadership including as the Founding Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment and Professor of Practice in the Department of Finance at Imperial College Business School, and as an Academic Co-Chair at the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment.

7️⃣ Diego Balverde - Economist, European Central Bank (ECB) & Advisory Member Council of the Foreign Trade, The World Bank
Country: Germany
Latest Thought Piece: The Economy has a critical role to play for the Environment
Profile: Dr. Diego Balverde is an Economist at the European Central Bank and has extensive experience in climate finance. He is currently also an Advisory Member of the Council of Foreign Trade at The World Bank. Diego is very active on the international sustainability stage having attended COP27 as a Circular economy for Climate Change specialist and will also be attending the G20 Conference in India as part of the Energy, Sustainability and Climate Task Force. Diego holds a PhD in Foreign trade from Chapman University and an MBA degree from Cambridge Judge Business School.

8️⃣ Mark Rutte - Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Country: Netherlands
Latest Thought Piece: An Interview withPrime Minister Mark Rutte at COP27
Profile: Mark Rutte is the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and has been the Leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy since 2006. Mark began his career as a Human Resources manager at Unilever before transitioning into politics which began when he was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands. Mark has led a multitude of efforts in sustainability at both a National and International level.

9️⃣ Kanika Chandaria - Lead Venture Architect, BCG Digital Ventures & Co-Founder, BCG Green Ventures
Country: United Kingdom
Latest Thought Piece: The Next Generation of Climate Innovation
Profile: Kanika Chandaria is a Lead Venture Architect at BCG Digital Ventures, the corporate innovation and digital business-building arm of Boston Consulting Group. Over the course of her career, Kanika has shifted her interest to Climate Tech and became the Co-Founder of BCG Green Ventures which builds and scales businesses and technologies that accelerate the transition to net zero.

🔟 Himanshu Gupta - Co-Founder and CEO, ClimateAI
Country: United States of America
Latest Thought Piece: A radical idea to fund climate adaptation globally
Profile: Himanshu Gupta is the Co-founder and CEO of ClimateAi, a climate resilience platform that helps companies forecast and therefore mitigate climate change effects and covers topics such as for food, water, and energy security for supply chains. Himanashu and ClimateAI have been recognized by TIME as one the greatest innovations of the year 2022. Before founding ClimateAI, Himanashu worked with Lord Nicholas Stern, another leading illuminem Thought Leader, at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. Himanashu holds an MBA degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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