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It’s Not Easy Being Green: Islands and Financing the Green Energy Transition

Session Replay



The world’s energy and climate future increasingly hinges on decisions made in emerging and developing economies. Sustainable finance and infrastructure investment play a critical role in accelerating the transition to a green energy and low carbon future. In this session leading experts will discuss how to accelerate the development of renewable energy sources and other green infrastructure for islands.


Project Director, CFAN

Benjamin Bartle

Ben Bartle is a principal/project director with RMI’s Climate Finance Access Network (CFAN).

Operationally, as project director, Ben manages CFAN’s various work streams and staff alongside CFAN’s director. Ben is the primary point of contact for CFAN’s national Climate Finance Advisor cohorts before, during, and following their tenure in-country. He also coordinates activities with partner institutions and programs. Ben leads advisors in designing climate finance projects and securing climate finance from public and private sources across SIDS and LDCs in the Pacific, Caribbean, and Africa. Ben also plays a lead role in developing and facilitating both advisor training and in-country workshops programs.

Strategically, Ben works alongside the CFAN director on CFAN growth and strategy development/planning, membership and country engagement, and fundraising activities. Ben also provides leadership on external engagement and communications, serving as a spokesperson to CFAN’s various stakeholders (governments, donor institutions, member initiatives).

Chief Minister, St Helena Government

Julie Thomas

In October 2021, St Helena made a historical transformation, implementing a Ministerial form of Government. Julie is currently serving as the first ever Chief Minister for Saint Helena Government and her role encompasses the management of all government directorates within government. Julie has direct political responsibility and accountability for all policies and services delivered by directorates in their portfolio. This includes direct financial responsibility and accountability for all policies and services delivered and the effective use of public funds spent in their portfolio directorate.
In addition to this role, Julie is also the Minister for Education, Skills & Employment and strives to be a role model for the aspiring youth of the Island. She is a successful business woman in the retail sector and has spent the majority of her life working within the private sector and commercial field. This exposure has given her the determination required to encourage the Government of St Helena to introduce and strengthen policies that provides a firm foundation that enables private sector development.

Julie is a firm believer of protecting natural ecosystems and ensuring that natural resources our used sustainably to guarantee enjoyment of these resources for generations to come. She has been an influential advocate for the sustainable development of our island for many years, and strongly supports St Helena Island being designated a Category VI, Marine Protected Area.

Julie has had a diverse working career to include exposure within the airfield operations, banking, business advisory services to name but a few. However, at the heart of all her aspirations communication remains key. She recognises the importance of communication and the power it has in changing mind-sets and gaining support, which is key when taking into account our ever-changing world and our collective desire to move towards a more blue and green agenda.

Senior Advisor, GET.invest

Ilham Talab

Ilham Talab is based in Brussels as a Technical Advisor at GET.invest, a European program supported by the EU, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria, that aims at mobilising investment in renewable energy projects and companies. Over the past 9 years, she was involved in renewable energy roles covering Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands supporting enterprises, designing trainings & policy advisory initiatives and using data for decisions.

Head of Department of Energy, Government of Greenland

Rasmus Wendt

Senior lecturer and head of department Chemical and Environmental Engineering , Faculty of Engineering. University of Mauritius

Vimi Dookhun

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