Keynote Speakers

Susanne Åkerfeldt has a solid background in senior policy making at governmental level. As a Senior Adviser at the Swedish Ministry of Finance, she has more than 20 years’ experience of managing projects on policy design in the area of energy and environment, seeking solutions and compromises in a politically sensitive environment nationally and at EU level. Her key focus is to ensure the use of cost-efficient policy measures on the road towards a sustainable, low-carbon and resource-efficient society. She has been instrumental in fine-tuning the design of the Swedish carbon tax since the 1990s as well as pursuing green tax reforms. She serves as Sweden’s lead EU negotiator on energy and climate taxation issues and has worked extensively at EU-level to improve and coordinate the design of EU tax and state aid legislation to better reflect the Polluter Pays Principle and encouraging Member States to increasingly use environmental taxes. She is a member of the Subcommittee on Environmental Taxation Committee under the UN Tax Committee as well as of the Scientific Committee of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.

Elena Belletti is an energy and environmental economist specialised in taxation issues. From 2015 to 2019, she worked as an Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, providing advice to tax authorities of developing countries on domestic resource mobilization. She is a member of the United Nations Subcommittee of Experts on Environmental Taxation Issues, and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Environmental Science and Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. An economist by academic training and professional background, she previously worked for five years in the energy sector, first as a senior advisor for the trading branch of a major, and later as a senior economist for a consulting firm. Ms. Belletti holds an MSc in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Energy and Environmental Economics.


Andreas Chrysostomou

Mr. Andreas Chrysostomou is a seasoned professional in the shipping industry. Currently he is the Chief Strategy Officer of Tototheo Maritime, which offers a variety of services to the shipping industry with headquarters in Cyprus and branch offices in Greece and Singapore. He holds an MBA and graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, with a Bachelor of Engineering in naval architecture and shipbuilding. Mr. Chrysostomou, in his long standing career, was the Director of the Department of Merchant Shipping (the Maritime Authority of Cyprus), CEO of Transmed shipping Co. Ltd. and Acting Secretary General of CLIA Europe. He held senior management roles in fields such as safety and security, protection of the marine environment and administration. He also served as the elected Chairman of the Design and Equipment Subcommittee of the IMO and of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), one of the main Committees at IMO. He was twice elected and re-elected Chairman of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (a UN agency) and served as member of the Board of Governors of the World Maritime University (WMU). He also served as President of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMAREST).

Jacqueline Cottrell is Senior Policy Advisor to Green Budget Europe (GBE) and has worked with GBE from its inception in 2008. Jacqueline works as an environmental policy consultant for numerous international organisations, including GIZ, the German development agency, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development, and has worked for GBE’s founder organisation, FÖS, since 2004. Jacqueline has published widely in the field of environmental economic policy, as co-editor of Critical Issues in Environmental Taxation, Vol VI (Oxford University Press 2009), lead author of Green Revenues for Green Energy (IISD and CNREC 2013), and as contributor to Paying the Polluter (Edward Elgar 2014). Jacqueline has an M.A. in International Peace and Security and is on the international programme committee of the 19th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation.


Paul Ekins is Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy and Director of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources at University College London. He is also Deputy Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, and the UKERC Co-Director leading on its Energy Resources theme. He is a member of UNEP’s International Resource Panel, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) and a Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Brussels-based expert platform Green Budget Europe. His academic work focuses on the conditions and policies for achieving an environmentally sustainable economy. He is the author of numerous papers, book-chapters and articles in a wide range of journals, and has written or edited twelve books, including Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: the Prospects for Green Growth (Routledge, London, 2000) and Environmental Tax Reform: A Policy for Green Growth (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011). In 1994 Paul Ekins received a Global 500 Award ‘for outstanding environmental achievement’ from the United Nations Environment Programme. In 2015 he was awarded an OBE in the UK’s New Year’s Honours List for services to environmental policy.

Andreas Ph. Matsas is the General Secretary of the Cyprus Workers’ Confederation SEK, since May 2016. He was born in Nicosia in 1970 and holds a BA in History from the University of Reading in the UK, an MA by research in Archaeology focused on the social structure of Cyprus through archaeological evidences, as well as an MA in International Relations – Euro-Med Studies from the same University. He deals with a wide range of trade union affairs, industrial relations issues and socioeconomic and employment policies. He is currently a Council member of the Cyprus Human Resource Development Authority, an Executive Committee Member of the European Trade Union Confederation, as well as a member of the ETUC Employment, Social Policy and Social Dialogue Committees, a European Social Fund Committee Member, as well as a Member of the Cyprus Labour Advisory Body and the Economic Advisory Committee. 

Christian De Perthuis is Professor of Economics at Paris-Dauphine University and Head of the Climate Economics Chair. He started his career in the agricultural sector, went on to work in leading French research and forecasting institutes and headed the “Mission Climat” of Caisse des Dépots between 2004 and 2008.  His research focuses on the economics of climate change and ecological transition. Author of several articles and books, he is co-author of Green Capital (Odile Jacob, 2013, Columbia University Press, 2015) and co-author of Le Climat, à quel prix? La négociation climatique (Odile Jacob, 2015) He chaired the “Green Tax Commission”, which helped the French Government to set up a domestic carbon tax in 2014.

Dr Tristan Smith is a Reader in Energy and Transport at University College London. He has, since 2010, grown a substantial group focused on modelling and analysis of shipping’s efficiency and emissions. He led the 3rd International Maritime Organisation Greenhouse Gas Study, is lead author of ISO 19030, co-chair of World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition Maritime Thread, and has been involved in numerous projects across the academic, industry and policy domains. The group maintains a number of models including GloTraM, which is used by several multinationals to explore shipping’s future scenarios and technology evolution. Along with Dr Simon Davies, he is co-founder of University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS).

Jan Steckel heads the working group “Climate and Development” at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) in Berlin since 2014. His research focuses on climate change mitigation in developing and newly-industrializing countries. More specifically, he works on the distributional effects of carbon pricing and other climate policy instruments, political economy of energy transitions, and drivers of carbonization. His research is published in leading academic journals. He has been involved in multiple international assessment processes, including the IPCC and UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report. Before joining MCC, Jan has worked at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research. He received a PhD in economics from Technical University of Berlin.


Yacov Tsur is the Ruth Ochberg Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the Department of Environmental Economics and Management, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He received a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. His research deals with natural resource management under uncertainty and catastrophic threats, with a particular focus on water resources. Professor Tsur publishes widely in economic outlets and has been actively involved in advising Israel’s Water Authority and the World Bank on issues concerning the use of market-based instruments in water resources management and regulation.


Kurt Van Dender is a Senior Tax Economist leading the Tax and Environment Unit, which is part of the Tax Policy and Statistics Division of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, since 2013. Previously, he was Chief Economist at the International Transport Forum and Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California at Irvine. He also worked as a researcher at the University of Leuven (Belgium), where he obtained his Ph.D. with a dissertation on the economics of road pricing. Kurt’s work focuses on the use of taxes as instruments of environmental policy, and on tax policy more broadly. Some of his work is published in leading academic journals, and he is an author of several reports published by the International Transport Forum and the OECD. He is a frequent speaker at, and an occasional organizer of, policy research and policy supporting events.


More keynote speakers to come…