Meet 10 influential voices on climate finance

Dear Reader, 

Finance is a key component of climate adaptation, mitigation and development, but a fundamental injustice underlies the global climate crisis: those who have benefited the least from the fossil fuel-driven economic growth model causing dangerous greenhouse gas emissions are also those who have already been most severely impacted by the effects of climate change. 

There are several pressing climate-related economic challenges currently facing low-income countries. Addressing debt crises exacerbated by extreme weather, figuring out compensation for communities suffering the effects of climate change, and guaranteeing a just and equitable energy transition are a few. 

Ahead of the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact in Paris this June, we’re spotlighting 10 influential climate finance voices. These voices can speak to global policy proposals, solutions that work for communities on the ground, and lived experience of the conditions that need to be addressed at the summit.

If you’d like to reach out, they are all available for media requests and can be contacted via [email protected]


The Livism Team

Ineza Grace

© Mark Thiessen National Geographic

Ineza Umuhoza Grace is a Rwandan climate negotiator, researcher and ecofeminist who champions the empowerment of women, girls, and frontline communities as a means to achieving global climate justice. She is the Co-Founder and Global Coordinator of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition, a global coalition of 600+ youth from 60+ countries urging governments and the private sector to take concrete action to address climate-related loss and damage.

Twitter: @InezaGrrace

Disha Ravi

Disha Ravi is a climate and environmental justice activist who founded Fridays For Future India in 2018. After witnessing her family being impacted by the water crisis, she started advocating for better policies and governance in India and internationally. Disha is a writer, and is passionate about making sure the voices of MAPA (the Most Affected People and Areas) are heard in climate conversations.

Twitter: @disharavii

Elaine Zuckerman

Elaine Zuckerman founded Gender Action as an advocacy campaign holding International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to account for harmful gender and climate impacts. Gender Action collaborates with civil society partners around the world, challenges the IFIs’ corporate-driven paradigm and seeks gender and climate rights and justice. Elaine joined the World Bank before structural adjustment unfolded as an economist on environmental and rural projects in China. She also worked in the Inter-American Development Bank where she led the first Amazonia strategy that promoted ending investments in roads, ranching, and migration.

LinkedIn: Elaine Zuckerman

Sidney Opiyo

Sidney Opiyo is an environmental scientist, climate activist and conservation photographer/storyteller. He has a deep interest in working with youth at the grassroots level, youth-inclusive governance and policy, conservation storytelling, and climate action. Currently, he is Focal Point for the Food Security Thematic Group in the UNCCD Youth Caucus where he is responsible for leading the implementation of its initiatives and programmes.

LinkedIn: Sidney Opiyo

Shereen Talaat

Shereen Talaat is a passionate advocate and campaigner for a just, feminist green economy and is Co-director and Co-founder of The Arab Watch Regional Coalition for just development. From 2013, Shereen has worked on following and monitoring the policies and projects of international financial institutions, including the IMF, to hold these institutions to account on social, economic, climate and gender justice. 

Twitter: @shereent 

LinkedIn: Shereen Talaat

Mitzi Jonelle Tan

Mitzi Jonelle Tan is a climate justice activist based in the Philippines. She is the convenor and international spokesperson of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), the Fridays For Future of the Philippines. She is also an organiser with Fridays For Future International. A strong voice on anti-imperialism, anti-colonization, and the intersectionality of the climate crisis, she is committed to changing the system and building a world that prioritises people and planet, not profit, through collective action.

Twitter: @mitzijonelle

Chinma George

Chinma George is an environmental and climate finance expert. She founded ClimFinance Consults,  a knowledge think tank that conducts research on climate change and links projects to climate finance in Africa. She has been following climate finance negotiations since Paris 2015, and has been part of Nigeria’s delegation in Morocco, Glasgow and Egypt. She also worked as an Engagement Manager for the Climate Finance Accelerator, a technical advisory programme of the UK government, and she presently heads the renewable energy team at First City Monument Bank.

LinkedIn: Chinma George 

Bhekumuzi Dean Bhebhe

Bhekumuzi Dean Bhebhe is a 2018 Mandela Rhodes Scholar and a climate justice activist with several years of experience on building and implementing campaign strategies that advance the idea that African economies need to urgently shift away from their dependence on fossil fuel energy systems and leapfrog to renewable energy. He currently serves as Campaigns Lead for Power Shift Africa

LinkedIn: Bhekumuzi Dean Bhebhe

Manuella Cantalice

Manuella Cantalice helps companies, governments and NGOs to become more prosperous and more sustainable by identifying resource efficiency opportunities and embedding sustainable practice and a people-centred approaches into policy, governance and finance. She has held positions at the Brazilian Forum on Climate Change, the Brazilian Mission to the United Nations and the Climate Policy Initiative. She is also the founder of Planet-A and has provided consultancy for numerous clients such as Capital for Climate, ActionAid International, USAID and the UK government. 

LinkedIn: Manuella Cantalice

Bendjedid Rachad Sanoussi

Bendjedid Rachad Sanoussi is a young farmer from Benin who strives to advocate for the inclusion of youth perspectives in development policies. Currently, he serves as a Projects and Partnerships Assistant within Ecolotrip, a network of young French-speaking actors in the fight against climate change and environmental protection. He actively participates in dialogue and learning to shine the light on climate change issues through workshops, consultations, and forums. 

Twitter @rachadsanoussi 

Linkedin Ben Rachad Sanoussi

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The longest heatwave Bangladesh has experienced in 50 years has forced the closure of thousands of schools, and frequent power outages have only made the situation worse for people.

More women electricians are needed for a just transition – it would help resolve a crucial labour shortage, but it could also help close the gender wage gap.

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Relying heavily on agriculture, Nigeria’s industry is very susceptible to the effects of climate change.

A Just Transition report released in May shows that Africa can industrialise in a low-carbon and sustainable manner by tapping into its renewable energy potential.

An important reminder!


What we’re listening to

  • The world must deliver more climate finance for Africa

    Bogolo Kenewendo, a former minister of investment, trade, and industry in Botswana and special adviser to the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, talks about the African perspective on climate action, biodiversity, climate financing, and gender-responsive solutions.

  • Enabling Commons

    This podcast provides a forum for discussion among people with disabilities to examine methods for transforming our common spaces into ones that are significantly facilitating for all.

What we’re attending

  • Business Climate Finance Webinar. From Risk to Resilience

    When? Fri, 7 July, 2023, 18:00 – 19:30 CEST

    Where? Online

    Learn about the vital role that financial institutions play in advancing environmental justice, strengthening vulnerable communities, and creating a fair and equitable transition to a sustainable future.

  • Financing adaptation or adapting finance?

    When?  Wed, 21 June, 2023, 09:30 – 10:30 CEST

    Where? Online

    Financial experts will address the fast evolving climate finance environment and discuss how different public and private financial players are responding to the dangers and possibilities of climate change, and what role finance may play in developing adaptation strategies.

What we’re reading

  • A River Called Time by Courttia Newland

    Set in an alternate world where slavery and colonialism never happened, Newland’s novel is both a timely exploration of social inequality and a story about love, loyalty and the search for the truth.