Michael Liebreich is a leading global expert on clean energy and transportation, smart infrastructure, technology, climate finance and sustainable development.
Michael Liebreich is chairman and CEO of Liebreich Associates and co-managing partner of EcoPragma Capital. He is an honorary fellow of the Energy Institute and visiting professor at Imperial College London. Former roles include being a member of the UK’s Taskforce on Energy Efficiency, chairing the subgroup on industry and an advisor to the UK Board of Trade, an advisor to the UN on Sustainable Energy for All, a member of the board of Transport for London and founder of BloombergNEF.
Michael undertakes speaking and writing engagements through Liebreich Associates. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and panelist on all matters relating to the net zero transition. He has addressed many major energy and other conferences, the UN General Assembly and governmental panels and committees around the world. He still contributes a quarterly column as Senior Contributor to BloombergNEF.
In July 2020, Michael started a podcast and YouTube channel called Cleaning Up, where he hosts in-depth conversations with leaders and experts in climate change and its potential solutions. Guests have included Tony Blair, Christiana Figueres, Ernie Moniz, Alex Honnold, Bill McKibben, Fatih Birol, Yanis Varoufakis, Mariana Mazzucato, Tony Abbott, Lord Browne, Lord Stern, Baroness Worthington, Lord Turner, Dan Yergin, Mark Carney, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Wathuti, Johan Rockström and many more.
In 2021, together with fellow Cambridge Engineer and Harvard Business School alumnus Henry Lawson, Michael set up EcoPragma Capital. This is a specialist provider of advisory services to companies and investors committed to the net zero transition. Through EcoPragma Capital Michael provides strategic advice and supports fund-raisings and capital investments. Future plans include raising a fund to invest in companies experiencing or on the cusp of explosive growth.
Michael serves on a number of industry boards, including the UAE’s Women in Sustainability Environment and Renewable Energy, GreenMap Association and the Hawthorn Club, a global network for senior women in the energy industry. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the WBCSD’s Climate & Energy Advisory Council and a member of the Strategic Committee for the Solar Impulse Foundation’s World Alliance for Efficient Solutions. Michael is a member of the International Advisory Board for Equinor, as well as the advisory boards of the UK’s Clean Growth Fund and Switzerland’s Emerald Technology Ventures. He acts as Chair of the Advisory Board for Eavor Technologies, the world’s leading player in deep closed-loop geothermal energy.
Education & Awards
Michael earned his masters in Engineering at Cambridge University in 1984, winning first-class honours, the University’s Ricardo Prize for Thermodynamics and the Christ’s College Wyatt Prize for Engineering. He has an MBA from Harvard, where he was a Harkness Fellow and won a Baker Scholarship. He is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College’s Energy Futures Lab and sits on the advisory board of the college’s Centre for Climate Finance and Investment (CCFI).
Michael is a two-time finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards and has won lifetime achievement awards from BusinessGreen and the UK Renewable Energy Association. In November 2022, Michael was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Energy Institute.
Michael founded New Energy Finance in 2004 and was Chairman and CEO until the sale to Bloomberg LP in 2009. He remained CEO of Bloomberg New Energy Finance until 2014, acting as Chairman of the Advisory Board until 2017. Between 2012 and 2018 Michael was a member of the board of Transport for London, sitting on the Finance Committee and chairing the Safety, Sustainability and HR Panel. He was rotated off in 2018 after speaking out about the organisation’s safety culture.
Prior to founding New Energy Finance in 2004, Michael helped build over 25 companies as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur and executive. From 1995 to 1998 he was Deputy Managing Director of Associated Press Television and Founding Director of Sports News Television. He acted as Non-Executive Director of Interactive Investor and was UK Managing Director of Groupe Arnault’s venture capital arm.
Between 1990 and 1995 Michael was an associate and manager in the London office of McKinsey & Co.
Between 2008 and 2017 Michael served on the high-level advisory group for the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative, which steered through the adoption of SDG7 on energy. In 2019, Michael was a member of the IEA’s Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency. He has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils on Sustainable Energy and the New Energy Architecture and been a member of the selection panel for the WEF Technology Pioneers and the advisory board of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. He has also served on advisory boards for the Clinton Global Initiative Energy and Climate Change Working Group as well as Business for Britain.
Michael has been on the advisory board for the OECD Centre on Green Finance and a member of the selection committee for the Bloomberg New Energy Pioneers (a programme he created in 2008 and chaired until 2014). He was invited to become a member of the High-Level Observer Group for the Hydrogen Council but resigned immediately he saw its first draft report. He was the founding chairman of Finance for Resilience (FiRE), an accelerator of climate finance solutions.
Michael was a member of the British Ski Team from 1986 to 1993, British Moguls Champion in 1991, and competed in Europa Cup, World Cup and in the 1992 Albertville Olympics. He is the co-author of the Complete Skier (BBC Books 1993) and chaired St Mark’s Hospital Foundation, a bowel medicine charity from 2010 to 2017. Michael is the founding Chairman of the Liebreich Foundation and of Moving Mountains, a Swiss charity focusing on the sustainability of mountain regions.
Michael speaks fluent French and German. He lives in London with his wife and three young children.
Further information and contacts
For up-to-date information on Michael’s various boards, roles and angel investments, please consult his Register of Interests.
To contact Michael in relation to speaking opportunities or any other matters, please email his Executive Assistant, Jo Jagger, at firstname.lastname@example.org.