Paola Bettelli

Paola Bettelli has more than 20 years of experience in the fields of international law, environmental law and sustainable development. Working as a diplomat, she was the lead negotiator for the Colombian government in multilateral climate change, biodiversity and the movement of hazardous wastes negotiations. She headed the Climate Change Office of the Colombian Ministry of the Environment and, as such, she was the designated authority for the approval of Clean Development Mechanism projects under the UNFCCC in Colombia, was responsible for setting national policies on climate change and representing the Colombian government in climate change multilateral negotiations.

Ms. Bettelli also worked for the United Nations as Senior Economic Affairs Officer in the New York Office of the UN Regional Commissions. In that capacity she actively participated in high-level UN task forces on climate change and on the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). More recently, she provided strategic guidance to the UN Regional Commissions on their positioning in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. During this time, Ms. Bettelli was responsible for drafting the UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG) reports on regional cooperation for 2009, 2010 and 2015, with inputs from the UN Regional Commissions.

Ms. Bettelli has experience working for the private sector too, as Environmental Markets Director for ICAP Securities in Colombia, as an analyst and consultant for the Andean Center for Environmental Economics (CAEMA), and as an ENB writer and Outreach and Fund Development Officer for the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD). She is an attorney, admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey and Bogotá, Colombia and holds an LL.M in International Trade and Business Law from Fordham Law School (NY), a J.D. (cum laude) from Pace Law School (NY), and an Attorney at Law degree from Universidad de los Andes’ Law School (Colombia, South America). She has published articles on sustainable development in Colombia and in publications of the New York Bar Association. She also taught International Environmental Law at Universidad de los Andes’ Law School.

Ms. Bettelli currently works as an independent consultant in the fields of international law, environmental law and sustainable development. and teaches legal writing for non-J.D. students as adjunct professor at Fordham Law School. She also mentors middle school children in their participation in the “Future City” – Endeavor competition, which aims to challenge children to find innovative solutions to environmental and sustainability challenges and to design the cities of the future.