Building Just and Climate-ready Economies in the EU and the US

October 29th  2:00 PM EDT / 7:00 PM CET

Workshop (2:00-3:00 PM EDT / 7:00-8:00 PM CET) & Panel Discussion (3:00-3:30 PM EDT / 8:00-8:30 PM CET)

Recording avilable: watch what happened!

This event will focus on comparing and contrasting the EU and US directions to building just and climate-ready economies. Through workshops and a panel discussion, we aim to take a closer look at the two regions’ directions to achieve both economic growth and large-scale decarbonization. In particular, we aim to learn more about the public discourse and policy priorities, as well as actual programs and plans, like the EU Green Deal or the Biden Plan. In view of the US presidential election and the recent announcements by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, shedding a light on differences and common features of the two programs couldn’t be more topical. Where do the two regions see the biggest levers for change? What are the political constraints within which pragmatic climate policy needs to work? Can the US regain credibility as a climate policy leader? 

Event attendees have the option of participating in a moderated workshop and a panel discussion, OR attending the panel discussion without participating in a workshop. The workshop and panel discussion are meant to provide input and solicit active engagement from participants. By using an interactive format and an online collaboration tool for the workshop, we hope to break the “Zoom fatigue” and foster engagement amongst participants.


Event Outline


Workshop Information

Attendees can choose to participate in one of the following workshops. Both workshops will take place at the same time.


Workshop I. Climate Justice, Just Transition and “Structural Aid”:

The debate around climate justice has taken shape differently in the US and the EU. Whereas the EU focuses on regional inequalities – mainly with regards to GDP and jobs – and tries to address these with mechanisms such as the Just Transition Fund, the Modernization Fund and land restorations, the US debate centers around which communities and groups are most affected by the consequences of climate change. We will explore ways in which the two debates can be fruitful for one another and broaden our perspectives. 

Workshop I Moderators:

-Francisco Barros Castro: Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms at the European Commission and expert on the Just Transition Fund. 

-Nakisa Glover: Founder and Executive Director at Sol Nation

Recommended preparatory material:

-Yale Climate Connections: What is climate justice?, Article, ca. 10 mins -Climate Analytics: Racism and climate justice, Blog post, ca. 10 mins -What is the European Just Transition Platform?, Website; ca. 15mins 

-What does “training for green jobs” actually mean?, European  Center for the Development of Vocational Training Report, Chapter 1, ca. 15mins 

Ted talk “The promise of Climate Justice”, Video, 12mins 

From Coal to Coding: Coal Miners in Appalachia, Video, 2.5mins 

-“A just transition: The way forward for coal communities”, Video, 3mins 



Workshop II. Resilience Planning: Adaptation vs. Mitigation

The dynamics around climate adaptation vs. mitigation have been perceived as politically loaded in Europe. Does investing in adaptation mean we have given up on mitigation efforts? In the US, the two topics are viewed less in opposition; adaptation plans – especially on a regional level – are advanced. We will explore the role of resilience planning and resilience finance in climate policy and whether adaptation and mitigation can go hand in hand. 

Workshop II Moderators:

-Liviu Stirbat: Deputy head of Unit A3, DG Climate Action, responsible for the EU Climate adaptation strategy. 

-Laura Kuhl: Assistant Professor in Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the International Affairs Program. Expert on climate adaptation and resilience. 

Recommended preparatory material:

Climate Adaptation in the US, New York Times Article, ca. 10 mins 

EU Adaptation Strategy Blueprint, Paper, ca. 15 mins 

-Ted talk “Climate Change is happening. Here’s how we adapt” Video, 15 mins. 

-“Potential win-wins and conflicts or trade-offs between climate change mitigation and adaptation” Sections 1-3, Paper, ca. 4  mins


Note to workshop attendees:

We would love to foster an interactive discussion during the workshop and would like to contribute to a fun and informative learning experience. In preparation for the workshop, we put together a short recommended reading and viewing list. Whether you’re already an expert on these topics, or completely new to them, the list of materials is meant to provide a shared knowledge basis to all participants. We were careful to select short and poignant texts and videos and we encourage you to engage with the recommended material as much as possible.


Panel Speakers and Moderator

Raffaele Mauro Petriccione

Director General, DG Climate Action, European Commission

Mauro Petriccione  joined the European Commission in 1987 and has worked in trade policy since then, covering a wide range of activities and negotiations: from trade defence to standards, investment, competition, WTO, dispute settlement, relations with Member States and European Institutions.

Petriccione served as the Deputy-Director General of DG Trade from 2014 to early 2018, where he was responsible for trade relations concerning services and investment, intellectual property, public procurement, agri-food and fisheries; trade relations with Asia, Latin America and countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific; and trade and sustainable development. In March 2018, he was appointed as the EU Director General for Climate Action.

Julian Brave NoiseCat

Vice President of Policy & Strategy, Data for Progress

Julian Brave NoiseCat is Vice President of Policy & Strategy for Data for Progress and Narrative Change Director for the Natural History Museum. A Fellow of the Type Media Center and NDN Collective, his work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and other publications. Julian grew up in Oakland, California and is a proud member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen and descendant of the Lil’Wat Nation of Mount Currie.

Tina Latif

Policy Co-Lead with Clean Energy for Biden

Tina Latif was the Director of International Climate Policy for the UAE government, and one of the lead negotiators for the Paris Climate Agreement. .

Her overarching career goal is positioning climate action as an economic opportunity, especially in parts of the world that historically, or politically, have not seen it as such. Her work focuses on shifting the narrative on climate change – transforming it from an ideological and altruistic issue, to one that delivers jobs, economic growth, and business opportunities.

Tina is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and began her career as a banking and finance lawyer at a leading Australian firm. She recently completed her Master of Public Administration at Harvard, graduating from the John F. Kennedy School of Government with a focus on enabling city executives towards innovation. She is currently a Policy Co-Lead with Clean Energy For Biden, a network of clean economy business leaders and advocates organized to elect Joe Biden as President and advance policies, technologies and investment to address the climate challenge.


Workshop Moderators

Francisco Barros Castro

Cabinet Member of Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

Francisco Barros Castro is a member of the cabinet of Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms at the European Commission.

Prior to joining Commissioner Ferreira’s cabinet, he was team leader for Romania and Bulgaria at DG Economics and Finance of the European Commission (2013-2019), Financial Counsellor and head of the ECOFIN department at the Portuguese Permanente Representation to the EU (2007-2013) and lecturer and researcher at Faculdade de Economia, University of Porto, Portugal (1990-2007), where he is still a member of the faculty (on leave). While at the Portuguese Permanente Representation to the EU, he was alternate member of the Economic and Financial Committee, of the Eurogroup Working Group and of the Economic Policy Committee. He was the Portuguese representative to the Council of the European Union working groups which negotiated the EU’s six-pack on economic governance and the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Dr. Barros Castro holds a degree in Economics from the University of Porto (Portugal), a Masters in International Trade and Finance from the University of Lancaster (UK) and a PhD in Economics from the University of Leeds (UK). He is the author, alone or with others, of some 20 scientific papers published in international journals or books.

Liviu Stirbat

Deputy head of Unit A3, DG Climate Action

Liviu Stirbat, from Bucharest, Romania, is Deputy Head of Unit for Adaptation in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Climate Action. Previously, he was Deputy Head of Unit for Better Regulation in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, where his team was responsible for the Interim Evaluation of the current EU Programme for Research and Innovation, and for the Impact Assessment of the future Programme, Horizon Europe.

Liviu joined the Commission in 2011, first as a policy expert on knowledge transfer, and afterwards as assistant to the Director for the European Research Area and innovation. Prior to working for the EU, Liviu worked for the OECD on labour economics, migration and education, and for the Work Bank on trade facilitation and export survival in Laos. He has an academic background in astrophysics and public policy evaluation.

Laura Kuhl

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the International Affairs at Northeastern University

Laura Kuhl is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the International Affairs Program at Northeastern University. Her research examines climate adaptation and resilience in developing countries, with an emphasis on the role of international climate finance in shaping national adaptation priorities. She has studied innovation, technology transfer and adoption for adaptation as well as mainstreaming adaptation in development policy. Current projects examine global adaptation finance, nature-based solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean, and resilience and transformation in Puerto Rico. She has conducted fieldwork in Latin America, the Caribbean and East Africa and has collaborated with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Prior to Northeastern, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Climate Policy Lab at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She has a PhD and MALD in International Relations from the Fletcher School and a BA in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from Middlebury College.

Nakisa Glover

Founder and Executive Director of Sol Nation

Nakisa Glover, founder of Sol Nation, is a native of Charlotte, NC. She has a passion for advocacy and contributing positively to the community. Her commitment to the community means that she works to raise awareness about threats as well as key issues and she advocates for real SOLutions. She holds a biology degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has built a track record as a community organizer, with years of experience in corporate, community and service-based work. Ms. Glover is a strong collaborator, having brought her perspective to her roles with Girls Who Code as a Regional Partnership Coordinator, Hip Hop Caucus as National Climate Justice Fellow and as the former National Campaign Coordinator for the Justice Action Mobilization Network (JAMN), both, groups dedicated to mitigating the impacts of climate change through advocacy while fusing social justice and climate justice. Her deep local and national networks mean that Ms. Glover has resources and contacts for combating critical issues related to climate, environmental, social and economic justice. She was recently recognized as a 2019 Grist 50 Fixer, and with the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr Growing The Dream Award. Previous awards include the 2016 Clean Air Carolina Airkeeper Award joining North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, Dr. James Kenny and other business leaders. Ms. Glover actively develops strategies to engage millennials in electoral and civic processes. She offers SOLutions while addressing complex matters such as voter suppression, economic empowerment, climate and environmental justice, and human rights on behalf of the communities she serves.

Heidi Binko

Executive Director & Co-founder, Just Transition Fund

As the co-founder and executive director of the Just Transition Fund, Heidi Binko is responsible for the design and the overall strategic direction of the organization. With more than 17 years of philanthropic experience on climate, coal, and energy issues, Heidi has worked with coal communities throughout the US and internationally in Australia. In her previous position as Associate Director for Special Climate Initiatives at RFF, Heidi helped develop and grow the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Before joining RFF, she was the executive director of the WestWind Foundation, a family foundation based in Virginia. She also previously served as co-chair of the board of directors of the Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) and co-chair of the Climate and Energy Funders Group, a project of the Biodiversity Funders Group. Heidi holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Notre Dame.