Maggie Comstock, Climate Consultant, Conservation International
Maggie Comstock is the Senior Director of Climate Policy at Conservation International (CI). In this role, she leads CI’s engagement in international climate policy processes, including the UN climate negotiations and International Civil Aviation Organization, with a particular focus to support the inclusion of forests in international carbon markets. Maggie previously worked on Climate and Biodiversity Finance Policy at CI. Prior to joining CI, she worked as a Policy Analyst at the U.S. Green Building Council focusing on international green building policy, sustainable cities and global market development. In addition to more than ten years of experience working in the UN climate negotiations, Maggie holds a master’s degree in Environment, Society and Development from the University of Cambridge, where she researched market design considerations to develop an international carbon market under UN climate negotiations as part of a post-Kyoto climate agreement.
Dan Nepstad, Executive Director, Senior Scientist, Earth Innovation Institute
Dr. Nepstad, President and Founder of Earth Innovation Institute, has worked in the Brazilian Amazon for more than 30 years, publishing more than 160 papers and books on the ecological processes, frontier dynamics and public policies that are shaping the region.
In 2010, he extended his work to Peru, Colombia and Indonesia. A world authority on REDD and low-emission rural development (LED-R), he was previously Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Research Center, Chief Program Officer of Environmental Conservation at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a Lecturer at Yale University. Dan co-founded the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) in 1995, Aliança da Terra in 2004, and was a founding board member of the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) in 2005 and INOBU (Indonesia) in 2015. He served on the REDD Offsets Working Group of California and is a member of the Science Committee of Acre State’s SISA program. He was a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment (WG2, Chapter 4). Dan holds a PhD in Forest Ecology from Yale University.
Karen Haugen-Kozyra, President, Viresco Solutions
Karen Haugen-Kozyra is President of Viresco Solutions Inc. – a network of leading advisors making sustainability real for public and private clients in the agriculture, bioenergy and sustainable food sectors across North America and globally. Our team of experts enables clients to meet their environmental, social and economic sustainability objectives by leveraging our knowledge and experience in environmental policy, markets and economics. On the Sustainability front, Karen and her firm help companies navigate the nexus between lowering their carbon footprint and developing an overall sustainability strategy.
Karen has over 30 years of experience in agricultural greenhouse gas measurement and modelling and climate change/environmental policy development – spanning her tenure at the provincial Department of Agriculture, Climate Change Central and now in the private sector. Karen began her career measuring soil organic carbon change and other greenhouse gases in a network of sustainable cropping system sites across Alberta, and was part of the Prairie Soil Carbon Balance project from 1997 to 2001 – which helped prove out the potential for carbon storage in Canadian soils. During her tenure with the provincial department of Agriculture, she developed the infrastructure and protocols necessary to support compliance level carbon credit trading in Alberta, which features the largest amount of soil carbon sequestration tonnage in the world (over 15 Mt of CO2e reduced/removed to date under the Conservation Cropping Protocol) . Karen’s company was involved with adapting 13 carbon offset protocols into the California, Quebec and Ontario linked carbon markets under the Western Climate Initiative. Recently, in conjunction with Canadian Forage and Grasslands Association, we successfully had the Climate Action Reserve approve and publish the Canadian Grasslands Project Protocol for use in Canada on a Voluntary basis. Viresco is currently working with partners (National Corn Growers/Soil Health Partnership, Bayer) and others to pilot a carbon accounting and insetting framework that will lower the costs of GHG emission reduction quantification and verification to produce more cost-effective carbon reductions at scale from no till and cover cropping, in supply chains and support corporate level reporting/target setting. Further, Viresco is heavily involved in adapting and testing the new beef module of the Cool Farm Tool to North American beef production systems with Alberta Beef Producers, as well as conducting Emissions Reduction Alberta funded mitigation strategies on the Bovaer feed additive at commericial scale feedlot production in Southern Alberta
Agustin Silvani, Head of Conservation Finance Division (CFD): Conservation International
Agustin Silvani heads Conservation International’s Conservation Finance Division (CFD), which is dedicated to the development and financing of pioneering solutions for lasting change in environmental conservation.
For more than a decade, CFD has been one of the most active investors in global conservation, raising and deploying with partners over $250 million through varied mechanisms such as trust funds, debt swaps, loans, carbon finance, conservation agreements, and payment for ecosystem services. Working with local partners, we have impacted over 50 million hectares and thousands of people that depend on nature for their wellbeing.
Many long-term conservation and sustainability projects, once created, lack the funding and structure to be effective over the length of time necessary to ensure lasting results. As a leading thinker in the field of conservation finance, Agustin has been responsible for creating and executing innovative financial mechanisms to encourage more investment in conservation, including the largest privately financed avoided deforestation project and first sustainable fisheries fund. These projects help support everything from coffee growing farmers in the Amazon to Maasai communities that wish to maintain their traditional ways of life, knowing that finding natural solutions to human problems offers huge un-tapped potential.
Agustin moved to Conservation International from the private sector with the goal of using public-private finance to drive natural capital conservation and low carbon development, primarily by catalyzing the growth of ecosystem service markets. Before Conservation International, Agustin spent time in various banks and investment groups, including six years spent on the commodities desk of a UK trading group.
Suzi Kerr, Chief Economist, Environmental Defense Fund
Suzi Kerr is Chief Economist at the Environmental Defense Fund and an Affiliate at Motu. She was, until May 2019, a Senior Fellow at Motu Research. She is also a member of the Air New Zealand Sustainability Panel. She graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with a PhD in Economics. From 1998 to 2009 she was the founding Director of Motu. In 2010 she won the NZIER Economics Award. She has also worked at the University of Maryland at College Park, Resources for the Future (USA), the Joint Center for the Science and Policy of Global Change at MIT, and was a Visiting Professor at Stanford University for the 2009/10 year and at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia in the first half of 2014.
As well as leading the economics team within the Environmental Defense Fund, her current research focuses on climate change mitigation. She works on domestic and international climate change policy with special emphasis on emissions pricing and land use. She has led and co-led several large international projects including the writing of the World Bank and ICAP handbook on emissions trading ‘Emissions Trading in Practice’.
Chandler Van Voorhis, Managing Partner, Green Trees
Mr. Van Voorhis is Co-Founder of ACRE Investment Management (AIM) platform. AIM operates four subsidaries —- Big River Cottonwood Nursery, Forest Green, GreenTrees and Conservation+. GreenTrees is the leading carbon reforestation project in the world by credit issuance regardless of market or registry. AIM’s Conservation+ company manages numerous mitigation banks for nutrient, stream and wetland markets.
Widely acknowledge as a leading expert in conservation and ecological markets, Van Voorhis delivered a TEDx Talk and has guest lectured at Centre College, Johns Hopkins, Princeton and Yale and authored several publications on the emergence of natural capital. He authored “The Rise of Natural Capitalism and the new Frontier of Conservation Finance” in the book Wilderness, Wildlands and People: A Partnership for the Planet, published in 2008 and “Finding New Ways to Think About the Environment and Economy” in the book Global Climate Change: A Senior-Level Debate at the Intersection of Economics, Strategy, Technology, Science, Politics and International Negotiation, published in 1998. In 2002, Van Voorhis was awarded, along with Mr. Crane, the nation’s most distinguished private conservation award, the ChevronTexaco Conservation Award.
Kelley Kizzier, Associate Vice President for International Climate, Environmental Defense Fund
Kelley Kizzier is the Associate Vice President for International Climate at Environmental Defense Fund, where she leads EDF’s work to promote ambitious and effective global climate action in multilateral forums including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the International Maritime Organization.
She recently served as the UNFCCC co-chair for the UN climate negotiations under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Prior to joining EDF, Kelley worked as an independent consultant, her clients including the World Bank, the Western Climate Initiative, and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
Kelley worked on EU and international climate issues for many years as a senior official at the European Commission’s Directorate for Climate Action in Brussels, and at the Irish Environmental Protection Agency in Dublin. Kelley has been an EU negotiator in the UNFCCC for the past 15 years, negotiating issues related to international cooperation through carbon markets, transparency and accounting for the Framework Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and ultimately, the Paris Agreement.
Chris Webb, Director, Climate Markets, The Nature Conservancy
Chris has over 12 years’ experience working on climate change policy and climate finance, and is a Director leading much of The Nature Conservancy’s work on climate markets to scale nature as a climate solution.
Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, he was the Deputy CEO of the £130m multi-donor funded Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). The programme supported developing countries – including Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Ghana – integrate climate change into their economic development through the provision of technical assistance and applied research.
He is a chartered accountant, and trained at PwC, although he quickly moved into their sustainability consulting team where ultimately he led their work on REDD+, working with donors (including the UK and Norway), topical forest countries (such as Indonesia and Kenya), NGOs (such as RSPB) and the private sector (including several REDD+ funds).