Elena López Gunn

Founder and Director of ICATALIST

Short Bio

Dr. Elena López Gunn is the Founder and Director of ICATALIST, a Spanish start up specialized in climate change adaptation and sustainability.

She is also Lead Author for WGII of the IPCC and Member of the European Scientific Advisory Board on climate change. In the past she worked at the London School of Economics as an Alcoa Research Fellow, focusing on water governance and collective action to achieve sustainable water management. She has worked at the Water Observatory of the Botin foundation, a Think tank undertaking targeted research to provide new evidence on key policy questions both in Spain and globally. Elena has collaborated with several organizations including UNESCO, FAO, UNDP, EU DG RTD, universities and river basin agencies, municipalities and regional governments, as well as the private sector like Repsol, and NGOs like Transparency International, undertaking research and knowledge transfer on robust water governance and climate change adaptation.

She was the scientific coordinator of the H2020 NAIAD project on the Natural Insurance Value: assessment and demonstration (www.naiad2020.eu). Her current interests are focused on how to have a deeper understanding on the role nature can play to reduce or manage risks and generate co-benefits at different scales. She is also focused and committed to structuring real projects on the ground with end users to accelerate the uptake of more sustainable solutions to current socio-ecological challenges.

Keynote Session

Theme: Strengthening climate change adaptation strategies

Water: turning water risks into opportunities- nexus transformation through actionable knowledge

The talk will focus on how many of the climate change risks are mediated through water and how, based on the latest IPCC Report on Climate Change “Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability” our climate innovation window is closing.

Since water is at the core of many climate change impacts, this in turn means that water is a critical sector for adaptation, where many adaptation strategies have water as a key element. Thus, water is a critical entry point for deep transformation in the nexus between water, food, energy and ecosystems through actionable knowledge in order to secure adaptation for sustainable and resilient development. A number of practical cases and examples will be presented e.g. in relation to nature based solutions, etc.