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Who are the panelists?

The panel for the CNN Future Summit: Saving Planet Earth is set. Featuring the scientists and politicians working to minimize the effects of global warming and climate change, the program will premier on December 18th on CNN International.

Ólafur Grímsson

President of Iceland
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson was elected the fifth President of the Republic of Iceland in 1996 and re-elected in 2000 and 2004. President Grímsson is an advocate for international cooperation against climate change and has promoted intelligent use of renewable energy resources. He has promoted cooperation among the countries in the northern regions of the world, including the U.S. and Russia as well as being active on various development issues, emphasizing cooperation with Africa and Asia. Grímsson studied Economics and Political Science at Manchester University, earning both a BA and Ph.D. degree. Returning to Iceland, he was appointed professor in Political Science at the University of Iceland, specializing in comparative politics and the evolution of the Icelandic political system. Grímsson was first elected to the Icelandic parliament Althingi in 1978 and was minister of finance 1988-1991, elected leader of the Peoples' Alliance in 1987 and served until 1995.

Barrie Pittock

Contributor, IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (2007)
Dr. Pittock obtained a Ph D at the University of Melbourne in 1963, and joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia in 1965. At the Division of Atmospheric Research he worked variously on stratospheric ozone, solar-weather relationships, surface climate change, the climatic effects of nuclear war, and the greenhouse effect. He was the chief organizer of an international conference on "Climatic Change and Variability", held at Monash University in 1975. He was a Chief Research Scientist and head of the Climate Impact Group in CSIRO, until his retirement in February 1999. The Group continues to work to unravel the potential impacts of the enhanced greenhouse effect at the local and regional level in Australia and the region. He and his group were contributors to the 1990, 1992, 1995 and 2001 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for both Working Groups 1 and 2, and he was a Convening Lead Author of the chapter on Australia and New Zealand for the IPCC Special Report "Regional Impacts of Climate Change" published in 1998. Since his retirement in February 1999 he was a Post-Retirement Fellow at CSIRO Atmospheric Research, working primarily on the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2001). He was a convening Lead Author of the Working Group II chapter on regional vulnerability and adaptation for Australia and New Zealand, and a Lead Author of the chapter on scenarios. He was a Lead author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (2007) chapter on key vulnerabilities in Working Group II. Currently he is an Honorary Fellow in CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.

Sunita Narain

Centre for Science and Environment
Sunita Narain has been with the Centre for Science and Environment from 1982. She is currently the director of the Centre and the director of the Society for Environmental Communications and publisher of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth. In her years at the Centre, she has worked hard at analyzing and studying the relationship between environment and development and at creating public consciousness about the need for sustainable development. Her research interests are wide-ranging - from global democracy, with a special focus on climate change, to the need for local democracy, within which she has worked both on forest-related resource management and water-related issues. In 2005, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. Also in 2005, the Center for Science and Environment, under the dynamic leadership of Sunita Narain, was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize by the Stockholm International Water Institute for its work in promoting effective water management along with improved human rights"

Bjorn Lomborg

Author, "Cool It"
Lomborg is adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and author of the best-selling "The Skeptical Environmentalist" in which he challenged mainstream concerns about the environment and pointed out that we need to focus attention on the most important problems first. In November 2001, Lomborg was selected Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. From February 2002 to July 2004 Lomborg was director of Denmark's national Environmental Assessment Institute. During this period he was named one of the "50 stars of Europe" (as one of the 9 "agenda setters" in Europe) in Business Week. In April 2004, Lomborg was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by TIME magazine. In 2005 Lomborg was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and listed as the world's 14th most influential intellectual by Foreign Policy and Prospect Magazine. In September 2007, Lomborg published "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Climate Change", a groundbreaking book that will transform the debate about global warming by offering a fresh perspective based on human needs as well as environmental concerns.

Bertrand Piccard

President, The Solar Impulse Project
Descended from a dynasty of explorers and scientists who conquered the heights and depths of our planet, Bertrand Piccard seems predestined to perpetuate one of the greatest family adventures of the 20th century. As psychiatrist, aeronaut, internationally renowned public speaker, president of the humanitarian foundation "Winds of Hope" and roving ambassador for the United Nations, he aspires to combining his scientific family heritage with his commitment to exploring the great adventure of life. Piccard currently heads the Solar Impulse project which aims to have an airplane take off and fly autonomously, day and night, propelled uniquely by solar energy, right round the world without fuel or pollution. It is a revolutionary concept that will push back the limits of our knowledge in the field of materials, energy management and the man-machine interface. It is an aircraft with an inordinate wingspan for its weight and of an aerodynamic quality that to this day has not been equaled, capable of tremendous resistance, despite its light weight. Pioneer of free flight and of ULM in Europe and winner of the first transatlantic balloon race (the Chrysler Challenge 1992), Bertrand Piccard was also the initiator of the Breitling Orbiter project. His success as flight commander of this first non-stop, round-the-world flight in 1999, catapulted him to the front of the stage as a "savanturier". Following this success, he received the Legion of Honor, the Olympic Order and the highest distinctions from the International Aeronautic Federation, the National Geographic Society and the Explorer's Club. Today, Bertrand Piccard takes off with Solar Impulse, in pursuit of a new dream.