2024 Climate Leadership Conference Agenda


View our 2024 Schedule at a Glance 

Our program was organized around the following 3 Tracks:

May 21
May 22
May 23

Strategies that Work: Climate Initiatives that Pack a Punch

Future Ready: Risk, Resilience, and Expanding Your Reach

The Pulse: Latest Trends and Innovation

Deep-dive instruction on applicable skills and decision-making for implementing specific climate solutions.

Climate Leadership Conference partners host interactive discussions highlighting best practices, emerging approaches and new research.

Once the formal conference program concludes, join us on March 6, 2020, as the Climate Leadership Conference hosts three tours of Detroit landmarks and institutions that are renowned for their sustainability.


Conference Registration Open All Day

8:00am - 5:00pm

Morning Sustainability Tours

9:00am - 11:00am

Rid-All Green Partnership: Guided tour of this unique urban farm that is bringing local, healthy food as well as education and training to its surrounding community. Learn more and Register HERE.

Cleveland Waterfront Bike Tour: Join this 5-mile bike tour to view recent improvements to Cleveland’s waterfront and downtown parks, enhanced public space, biodiversity and resilience strategies. The tour will be hosted by sustainable development consultancy Arup, a sponsor of the 2024 Climate Leadership Conference. Learn more and Register HERE.


Morning Coffee & Networking

10:30am - 11:00am

Interactive Workshops: Participate in a discussion that facilitates knowledge exchange and offers hands-on tools for tackling key climate solutions.

11:00am - 12:30pm

Implementation of Climate Solutions: Building on Collaborative Planning in Northeast Ohio

Hosted by: ICLEI

Impactful Clean Power Procurement: Making the Most of Your Investment in Sustainable Energy

Hosted by: Center for Resource Solutions (CRS)

Nature Based Solutions: Policy and Market Updates for Increased Impact

Hosted by: Anew Climate


Networking Lunch in the lounge

12:30pm - 1:30pm

Afternoon Workshops

1:30pm - 3:00pm

Engaging Communities in the Energy Transition

Hosted by: Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) and Edison Electric Institute (EEI)

From Aspirations to Action: Reducing Scope 3 Emissions with a Creative Shift in Supplier Engagement

Hosted by: Guidehouse

Integrating Data Verification into Sustainability Reporting and Disclosure

Hosted by: The Climate Registry (TCR) 


Networking & Refreshments Break

3:00pm - 3:30pm

Opening Plenary Session

3:30pm - 5:30pm

Mayor Justin M. Bibb, City of Cleveland, also serving as Climate Mayors Chair, Welcomes CLC to Cleveland!

Future Cities: Preparing for a New Climate Reality through Green Infrastructure and Economic Development

Regional Leadership, Innovation, and Cross Sector Collaboration in Pursuit of an Equitable Low-Carbon Future

  • Sunny Elebua, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy & Sustainability Officer, Exelon Corporation 
  • Amy Longsworth, Executive Director, Boston Green Ribbon Commission
  • Baiju Shah, President & CEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership
  • Deepa Vedavyas, Director of Resiliency and Sustainability, Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC)

Welcome Reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum

6:00pm - 10:00pm

Join fellow CLC attendees at the iconic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum to explore legendary memorabilia from rock ‘n’ roll icons while enjoying delicious bites and beverages. Whether you’re sporting your business casual best or rocking your favorite concert tee, it’s time to groove and mingle.

Special thanks to Stantec for making this unforgettable evening possible.


Registration, Breakfast, & Networking

7:00am - 8:30am

Registration open until 7:00 pm.


Day 2 Welcome & Plenary Session

8:30am - 10:15am

Cuyahoga County Executive, Chris Ronayne on Leading the Region’s Climate Transition, introduced by Lillian Kuri, CEO of the Cleveland Foundation

How Finance, Policy, and Technology are Accelerating Decarbonization

  • Lisa Jacobson, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE)
  • Rick Saines, Managing Director, Pollination 
  • Scott Tew, Vice President, Sustainability & Managing Director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Trane Technologies
  • Ethan Zindler, Climate Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Treasury

Climate Disruptors Spotlight Series



Networking & Refreshments Break

10:15am - 10:45am

Morning Breakout Sessions: Learn from topical discussions that focus on specific climate solutions; opportunities to engage panel

10:45am - 11:45am

Track 1: Pathways to Net Zero: By Sector

Solutions of Scale: Decarbonizing the Built Environment Ecosystem

Accelerating decarbonization in the built environment is essential for our low-carbon future, but which solutions are most effective and available today? This discussion focuses on how companies, institutions, and governments are driving decarbonization across the real estate and infrastructure ecosystem and which tools, technologies, and opportunities are proving valuable and scalable.


Track 2: Integrated Climate Solutions

Implementing Circular Strategies and Delivering Low-Carbon Products

Circularity largely boils down to ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ – strategies that reduce demand for raw materials, build efficiencies into the manufacturing (or institutional) processes, and influence end-user behavior. These circular solutions play a critical role in the pathways to decarbonization and often lean on collaborative action. Learn how companies and institutions are collaboratively leveraging the overlap between circularity and decarbonization strategies through innovative and cost-effective procurement, consumption, design, and waste management measures throughout the value chain.


  • Chastity McLeod VP Sustainability, Nestle North America
  • Wesley Porter Business Development Director, Sustainability & Innovation, Berry Global
  • Phil Valko Assistant Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Dawnielle Tellez Principal Consultant, Product Sustainability, Anthesis

Track 3: Future Focused on Accountability, Equity, and Sound Policy

Weathering the Storm: Rebuilding Equitable, Climate Resilient Communities

While economic damages from weather-related disasters continue to surge, government, local agencies, and businesses are becoming more adept at assessing and responding to climate risk and impact. Among the many challenges, there is a great opportunity to rebuild with an emphasis on nature and people. Panelists will share tools for enhanced adaptation planning and how they are investing in resilient infrastructure and a just transition for their communities.  



Networking Lunch in the ballroom

12:00pm - 12:45pm

Plenary Programming: The Power of Storytelling to Advocate for Climate Justice

12:45pm - 1:30pm
  • Eddie Ahn, Executive Director, Brightline Defense; Author, “Advocate: A Graphic Memoir of Family, Community, and the Fight for Environmental Justice”
  • Ronda Lee Chapman, Associate Vice President, Equity and Belonging, Trust for Public Land (TPL)
  • Sonrisa Lucero, Special Advisor for Stakeholder Engagement, Office of Energy Justice and Equity, U.S. Department of Energy

Book Signing with Eddie Ahn

1:30pm - 2:00pm

Eddie Ahn will sign copies of his book, Advocate: A Graphic Memoir of Family, Community, and the Fight for Environmental Justice.


Afternoon Breakout Sessions

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Track 1: Pathways to Net Zero: By Sector

Growing Impact: The Role of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Systems

While hugely impacted by a changing climate, agriculture, and food systems have enormous potential to play a significant role in the path to decarbonizing our economy. Panelists will explore the importance of collaborative solutions to tackle critical challenges including decreasing methane emissions, strengthening soil health, and supporting biodiversity conservation within agricultural practices as a means to cultivate a sustainable and resilient food system for generations to come.


  • Peter Lehner Managing Attorney, Sustainable Food & Farming Program, Earthjustice
  • John R. Tauzel Senior Director, Global Agriculture Methane, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Jessica D’Ambrosio Ohio Agriculture Project Director, The Nature Conservancy

Track 2: Integrated Climate Solutions

Scaling Climate Solutions that Center Around Public Health, Equity, and Resilience

In addition to understanding and preparing for the physical impacts of climate change, there is growing concern about the vulnerabilities that can ripple through communities and economic systems. In order for climate solutions to be valuable for impacted communities, we must focus on the implications to public health, equity, and nature and ensure long-lasting resilience.


  • Sarah O’Keeffe Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice, City of Cleveland
  • Dr. Natalie Suder Egnot Managing Health Scientist and ESG Advisor, Stantec
  • Tom Wall Director, Center for Climate Resilience & Decision Science, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Sean Terry Associate Vice President, Ohio - State Director, Trust for Public Land

Track 3: Future Focused on Accountability, Equity, and Sound Policy

Navigating the Evolving ESG Landscape and Leveraging Credible Carbon Data

Climate threats, impact, and the cost of inaction are keeping companies and stakeholders on their toes, while the rules and regulations around disclosures and material risks continue to evolve. This discussion explores what’s coming down the pike, how companies are preparing for state, federal, and international mandates seeking detailed third-party reviewed data within their operations, and what these organizations have learned through years of voluntary reporting and the value of having transparent climate data to drive business decisions.



Networking & Refreshments Break

3:00pm - 3:30pm

Eddie Ahn and Bob Keefe will be available to sign their books, Advocate: A Graphic Memoir of Family, Community, and the Fight for Environmental Justice and Clean Economy NOW: Stories from the Frontlines of an American Business Revolution respectively.


Topical Exchange Sessions

3:30pm - 4:15pm

Plenary Session: Corporate Climate Leadership

4:30pm - 5:45pm

Executive Vice President of Earth Finance, Reuven Carlyle (emcee)

Leveraging Transparent Climate Data to Drive Key Initiatives and Build Credible Narrative

Maximizing Environmental Impact through Value Chain Engagement



Climate Leadership Awards Reception, Ceremony & Dinner

6:00pm - 9:00pm

It’s time to shine a spotlight on this year’s Climate Leaders! Prepare to be inspired as we honor the outstanding achievements of our peers in climate leadership, with opening remarks from Mary Nichols, Distinguished Counsel, Emmett Center at the UCLA School of Law, and a special keynote from the esteemed Melissa Jun Rowley, Founder & CEO of Warrior Love Productions.  

Special thanks to Arup for their generous support of the CLA dinner & ceremony.


Breakfast & Networking

7:30am - 8:45am

Registration open until 12:00 pm.


Morning Breakout Sessions

8:45am - 9:45am

Track 1: Pathways to Net Zero: By Sector

Breakthrough Technologies for Decarbonizing Hard to Abate Industries

Hard-to-abate sectors face unique decarbonization challenges and require collaborative strategies and emerging technologies to scale…fast! While many sectors can utilize readily available low-carbon technologies, efficiencies, and innovative solutions, commercially available solutions are still limited for industries where increased efficiency and green electrification cannot address the majority of emissions. This session explores breakthrough technologies, new opportunities, and the road ahead for heavy industry and manufacturing, cement, and natural gas.


Track 2: Integrated Climate Solutions

Driving the EV Revolution: The Crucial Role of Infrastructure, Policy, and Partnerships

The EV Revolution is already underway, but scaling the revolution across the country will require strategic public-private partnerships between all levels of government, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations. This discussion focuses on the cross-sector collaboration currently underway to decarbonize the transportation industry, how it’s developing new opportunities – like manufacturing jobs in the American clean economy – and what challenges remain in reaching related climate goals.


  • Alexa Voytek Deputy Director, Programs, Innovation & Transportation, Communication, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Office of Energy Programs
  • Anna Zetkulic Senior Associate, Carbon Free Transportation, RMI
  • Artealia Gilliard Environmental Leadership and Sustainability, Ford Motor Company
  • Chris Benjamin Director, Corporate Sustainability, PG&E

Track 3: Future Focused on Accountability, Equity, and Sound Policy

Communities Capitalize on America's Landmark Infrastructure Investment Bill to Advance Net Zero Goals

Landmark federal legislation and investment through IIJA and IRA bills are creating a clean energy boom in every corner of the country – supporting a broad range of decarbonization solutions like alternative fuels, EV charging infrastructure, supply chain engagement, enabling technologies, and climate action or transition planning. Join this conversation to hear from those putting these funds to use, what lessons have been learned along the way, and how public-private collaboration is playing a key role in securing and leveraging funds to transform cities and communities across the U.S. 


  • Maria Redmond Director, Wisconsin Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy
  • Kate Wright Executive Director, Climate Mayors
  • William D. Friedman President and Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland-Cuyahoga-County Port Authority
  • Doug Huxley Senior Engineering Expert, Carbon Management, Jacobs

Networking & Refreshments Break

9:45am - 10:15am

Closing Plenary Session

10:15am - 12:00pm

What Makes this the Greatest Economic Revolution in Generations? 

Hear from executive director of national non-partisan business group, E2, and author of new book, Clean Economy NOW: Stories from the Frontlines of an American Business Revolution, Bob Keefe

Case in Point: Cleveland-Cliffs Federal Grant to Decarbonize

  • Traci Forrester, Executive Vice President, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. 
  • Amy Holm, Executive Director, The Climate Registry

Leading the Clean Energy Revolution

  • Bobby Boyd, Community Engagement, Midwest, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Tanya Peacock, Managing Director for California and Hydrogen, EcoEngineers
  • Snuller Price, Senior Partner, Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3)
  • Kaitlyn Pritchard, Head of Climate and Clean Energy, Embassy of Canada to U.S.

Conference Adjourns | Post-Conference Team Meetings and Tours

12:00pm - 3:00pm

Continue the conversation with new CLC friends during a Cleveland Botanical Garden tour! Details and sign-up here.