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In conversation with Elsy Milan: Promising climate advocate in the MENA region

Article-In conversation with Elsy Milan: Promising climate advocate in the MENA region

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CityscapeWIRE podcast, hosted by Teneshia, is a platform dedicated to exploring the experiences and achievements of women in real estate across the Middle East and North Africa. In a recent episode, Teneshia engages in a thought-provoking conversation with Elsy Milan, a passionate climate activist and clean energy advocate hailing from Lebanon.

Elsy shares her inspiring journey into climate activism, shaped by her upbringing amidst Lebanon's natural splendour and her family's commitment to sustainability.

Growing up, Elsy witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of climate change and pollution in her homeland, igniting a fervent desire to drive tangible change. Despite encountering scepticism from older generations, Elsy forged ahead, leveraging her roles as a climate ambassador to champion practical solutions for sustainability. Through initiatives like the Youth for Climate manifesto and collaborations with governmental and academic bodies, Elsy demonstrates the power of youth-led efforts in translating rhetoric into action.

Teneshia dives deeper into Elsy's research focus within the realm of environmental policy, with a particular emphasis on cement production and carbon capture. As a chemical engineer pursuing her PhD at Imperial College London, Elsy sheds light on her groundbreaking work aiming to develop frameworks for implementing carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) in hard-to-abate industries like cement manufacturing.

Highlighting the critical role of cement in construction and urbanization, Elsy underscores the urgency of addressing its significant CO2 emissions. She discusses the complexities of policymaking and stresses the importance of tailoring solutions to fit national economic models while fostering regional and international collaboration. Reflecting on her experience at COP28 in Dubai, Elsy praises the diverse representation and youth involvement at the conference, emphasizing the significance of consensus-building in driving climate action.

Teneshia and Elsy also explore the challenges faced within the built environment concerning the climate crisis and the necessary mindset shifts needed for progress. They discuss the difficulty in changing entrenched mindsets and highlight the importance of collective action and empathy over individualism. Reflecting on the urgency of climate action, they stress the role of education and awareness in driving meaningful change.

Teneshia wraps up the conversation with rapid-fire questions, touching on the significance of shifting mindsets and providing advice for individuals looking to engage in the fight against climate change. The podcast ends with a message of inspiration and empowerment, inviting listeners to join in breaking down barriers and fostering sustainability in the real estate industry through collective action and dialogue. Tune in to CityscapeWIRE for more inspiring conversations with women driving change in the real estate sector.

A Glimpse into Elsy's Perspective

Teneshia: Can you tell us more about your research focus, particularly concerning cement production and carbon capture? What led you to delve into this area?

Elsy: My journey into researching cement production and carbon capture stems from a recognition of the critical role cement plays in construction and urbanization, coupled with its significant CO2 emissions. Without addressing these emissions, it's challenging to envision a sustainable built environment. This realization fueled my determination to develop frameworks for implementing carbon capture, utilization, and storage in hard-to-abate industries like cement manufacturing. Through my work, I aim to catalyze policy changes and foster international collaboration to mitigate the environmental impact of cement production.

Links to listen to the podcast Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

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