Just transition in the Western Balkans and beyond – avoiding ‘stranded communities’ in cooperation with civil society

Main Hall, Level 1, Hotel Holiday

The challenges related to energy and climate change do not only have environmental but also significant social impacts. Jobs in traditional industries are disappearing, while new high-quality employment is scarce and not accessible to all. Panellists will explore how civil society can play a collaborative role to achieve a ‘just transition’ towards inclusive, resilient and low-carbon economies that avoid ‘stranded communities’ and ‘stranded workers’.

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Elisabetta Falcetti

Director, Sector Economics and Policy, EBRD

Elisabetta Falcetti is the Director for Sector Economics and Policy in the Economics in the Vice-Presidency Policy and Partnership at the EBRD. She leads the team of Sector Economists who work closely with the Banking department in designing investment projects and supporting policy reform dialogue activities that have significant potential impact in advancing the transition to markets in the EBRD countries of operations.
Her research interests include international monetary economics and debt management issues; development and transition economics; and, more recently, infrastructure and growth. She holds two Ph.D.s in Economics, from L. Bocconi University (Milan) and the London School of Economics.

Petr Hlobil

Director, CEE Bankwatch Network

Petr Hlobil is Campaigns Director of CEE Bankwatch. Bankwatch works with partner organisations to monitor publicly financed projects and promote environmentally, socially and economically sustainable alternatives. Before joining Bankwatch in 1996, Petr worked for various NGOs (e.g. Children of the Earth, Greenpeace) where he focused on energy and nuclear issues. In 1995 he founded the Centre for Transport and Energy (CDE), Czech Republic, which assists NGOs with activists’ training, the preparation of background materials and brochures, and consulting.
Petr has a background as a project designer in the energy industry and has co-authored and edited publications on energy efficiency, climate change, energy policy and the investments of multilateral development banks.

Deger Saygin

Director, SHURA Energy Transition Center

Değer Saygin is Director of the SHURA Energy Transition Center. In his former role at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Deger developed and led the global renewable energy roadmap (REmap) programme. This has helped the world’s 70 largest energy consuming countries accelerate the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal -7 and the Paris Agreement.
Deger was previously a researcher at Utrecht University where he carried out projects for IGOs, governments and the private sector in the field of sustainable energy and resource use in the manufacturing industry.
He holds a Ph.D from Utrecht University and has a degree in Environmental Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara.

Vedad Suljic

Director, UKI BiH

Vedad Suljic is Director of the Regional Education and Information Centre for Sustainable Development in South-East Europe (REIC). He has about 10 years experience in project management related to energy and environmental issues, working as an environmental economist at the project level to develop strategic plans, feasibility studies, and business plans. He has worked with national and international development organisations and IFIs such as the EBRD, World Bank, and European Investment Bank (EIB).
Vedad graduated from the School of Economics and Business in Sarajevo and completed specialist study at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering to deepen his knowledge of energy and environmental related issues. He is expecting to get this year his Master of environmental economics.

Peter Vajda

Senior Environmental Expert, Energy Community Secretariat

Peter Vajda is the Senior Environmental Expert at the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna, where he focuses on southeast Europe, particularly the countries of the Western Balkans as well as Moldova and Ukraine.
A lawyer by training with a Masters in environmental law from Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), Peter has always been involved in issues related to the environment, from both the legal and technical perspectives.
His various previous positions include being a seconded national expert at the European Commission’s Directorate-General (DG) for Environment, and a legal adviser in the unit responsible for EU legislation concerning industrial emissions, as well as in the Office of the Director-General in DG Climate Action.

Marianna Wiedenbeck

Acting Principal Manager, Civil Society Engagement, EBRD

Marianna Wiedenbeck is Acting Principal Manager of the Civil Society Engagement Unit at the EBRD. She coordinates EBRD’s institutional engagement with civil society organisations (CSOs) in eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, and manages technical cooperation projects aimed at building the capacity of local CSOs in climate change, sustainable energy and resources. Prior to her current role, Marianna was part of an international programme with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and worked variously at the German Federal Foreign Ministry’s Training for International Diplomats, the ILO in Moscow and UNECE in Geneva.
She holds a Master’s in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute, Geneva and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Freie University in Berlin.

Oben Çoban

Director of External Relations & Strategy, Save the Children Turkey

Oben Çoban is the External Relations and Strategy Director for Save the Children Turkey. Previously, he worked as an expert and manager in Centre for Strategic Research for and Development, The Hague and NATO. He has ample experience in various strategic communication roles, such as in Afghanistan for the NATO, for ABN AMRO, ING Bank International, Intercultural Communication and Market Reactions Strategies for Air France KLM. His specialises in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) Communication, financial communication, crisis communication, and C-Level communication.