Meet the Race to Zero Fellows

Announcing the Race to Zero Fellows for 2021 By Climate Champions | February 2, 2021

In November 2020, we’d announced the call for applications for the first of its kind – Race To Zero Youth Fellowship. We received an overwhelming response of almost 400 applications from over 41 countries.

This fellowship – led by the High Level Champions team – aims to provide a platform for young people to work with the Champions and to contribute to our work on driving ambitious climate action. The Fellows will join the High Level Climate Champions Team for a 10-month fellowship in the lead-up to COP26, focused on a few critical sectors – regenerative food and agriculture, energy and climate resilience.

We’re excited to announce the fellows for 2021:

Race To Zero Youth Fellow in Resilience: Azul Schvartzman
Azul is a young fellow from Argentina. She has studied Environmental Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires, where she is currently an Assistant Teacher. In 2019 she was selected as a Youth Delegate to the G20 and to COY15 and COP25. She specializes in climate change and youth engagement issues. In 2020 she tried to cross the Atlantic in a sailboat with other young climate activists from her region but she had to return halfway because of COVID-19. She was later part of the organizing team of the Building Bridges for Climate Action project and is currently the Research and Policy Coordinator at the NGO Eco House.

Race To Zero Youth Fellow in Resilience: Beatriz Pagy
Beatriz is a young brazilian lawyer who graduated from the University of São Paulo, and specialises on Environmental Law and Public Policies. She has worked with international cooperation projects on climate resilience and biodiversity conservation at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. She is a social entrepreneur, having co-founded “Clima de Eleição”, a project awarded the 2020 Youth Policy Case by UNFCCC Technical Examination Process on Adaptation (TEP-A). Currently, she is assisting the establishment of Youth Climate Councils across the globe. Beatriz is also a member of international networks such as YOUNGO – Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC.

Race To Zero Youth Fellow in Energy: Farai Chireshi

Farai is a Zimbabwean based in South Africa. He is a Chemical Engineer with key interests in renewable energy systems, technology development and sustainability. Farai is currently working with WWF South Africa on techno-economic as well as socio-economic assessments of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production, to support alternative fuel policy and market development in Africa.He holds a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering and has over five years of experience in the production and development of alternative fuels.

Race To Zero Youth Fellow in Regenerative Food & Agriculture: Leah Bessa

Leah, based in South Africa is currently finishing her PhD in Food Science at Stellenbosch University researching alternative meats and has gained industry experience in food product development. She is the Co-founder and Head of Research and Development for innovative Agritech start-up Gourmet Grubb, which focuses on creating functional, sustainable proteins from sustainably farmed insects. She is passionate about creating sustainable change in the food system.

Race To Zero Youth Fellow in Regenerative Food & Agriculture: Mateusz Ciasnocha

Mateusz is a third-generation farmer operating a 700ha regenerative agricultural business in northern Poland and is on a mission of spearheading regenerative agriculture to ensure healthy and living agricultural soil. Building on his background, global experiences, networks and commitment to regenerative agriculture, Mateusz – together with his brother, Paweł – set up European Carbon Farmers, a business promoting carbon farming practices in Poland and developing agricultural carbon payment mechanisms. Mateusz is actively involved in the work of the Economy of Francesco’s Agriculture and Justice Village, where he co-facilitates work of the Startup Stream focused on developing network of regenerative demo farms as well as EIT Food, where he manages the regenerative agriculture program.

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