James Poetzscher


James Poetzscher is a 17-year-old high school student interested in air pollution and climate change. He has authored four research papers in these areas, two of which are currently in peer-review for prestigious journals. He has mapped the global decline in air pollution on behalf of the European Environmental Bureau and his maps were published in media outlets including the BBC, Reuters and more. He’s built a global inventory of maps which he displayed on his website greeenhousemaps.com. He’s also built an air quality data portal, published by notable environmental organizations, and written articles for major media outlets. James hopes to inspire others, especially young people, to take collective action in tackling air pollution and climate change, two century-defining issues.


How free data allows anyone to tackle air pollution and climate change. Petabytes of free data exist on the internet, such as satellite data, ground sensor data and climate model data. These are resources which have incredible value in better understanding issues like air pollution and climate change and in helping ordinary citizens devise solutions to these large-scale issues.

Favourite TED / TEDx talk

In Simon Sinek’s TED talk “How great leaders inspire action,” he discusses the importance of identifying the “why” behind whatever you pursue. I’ve kept that advice in mind as I worked on all my projects and research over the past few years, always striving to make discoveries and devise solutions to air pollution and climate change.

What does limitless mean to you?

Limitless is a reference to future potential. It means that through collective action we have tremendous, boundless ability to tackle major issues such as air pollution and climate change.