Ulka Kelkar is Executive Director, Climate, WRI India. She is an economist with 24 years’ experience in climate change research, outreach and capacity building. She works on low-carbon development pathways, sub-national climate action, and just transition in small industry.

Ulka is a co-chair of the Think20 taskforce on clean energy and green transitions, an official engagement group of India’s G20 presidency. She is co-chair of the fair share, equity, and justice working group of the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign. She has served on the Government of India’s long term low emissions development strategy task group on transport, national committee for carbon neutral village awards, and science technology and innovation policy thematic group on energy, environment and climate change. She was on The Earthshot Prize expert advisory panel.

She previously worked as a consultant climate assessment specialist for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). She conducted field work in seven Indian states to assess how rural communities can adapt to climate change. She collaborated with architects and financial analysts to devise business models for climate-resilient housing in Bangladesh and Nepal. She used behavioural economics to understand what might motivate urban households to switch to renewable energy. She worked with the corporate sector on clean development mechanism (CDM) projects. Her policy contributions include the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) roadmap for regional cooperation on climate change, National Strategy Study on CDM in India, Maharashtra State Action Plan on Climate Change, and the first national communications of India and Bhutan to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Her research has been published in journals like Annual Review of Environment & Resources, Global Environmental Change, Climate Policy, and Mitigation & Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.

She has a master’s degree in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.