COP28: Roundup

The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) convened from 30 November to 12 December 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). It hosted the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 28).

Video: Razan Al Mubarak, High-Level Climate Champion of UAE for COP28 outlines why universities and colleges are so important to the Race to Zero, COP and society.

In a letter to parties (July 2023), the Incoming Presidency announced that COP 28 will focus on four paradigm shifts:
  1. Fast-tracking the energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030;
  2. Transforming climate finance, by delivering on old promises and setting the framework for a new deal on finance;
  3. Putting nature, people, lives, and livelihoods at the heart of climate action;
  4. Mobilizing for the most inclusive COP ever.
COP28 Thematic Program
Throughout the conference, the incoming COP28 Presidency held open consultations on thematic areas and sequencing, inviting inputs from the broad mix of stakeholders that will attend the conference; these stakeholders included all levels of governments, youth, business and investors, civil society, frontline communities, indigenous peoples.

For the first time, we are pleased to see COP had a dedicated day on the importance of including to education in the conversation. The Youth, Children, Education and Skills Day was held on 8th December. A High-Level event on climate education brought together ministers of environment, and education, as well as international organisations, to discuss how education can enhance the implementation of the climate agenda. This is a welcomed development from COP26 where Education Ministers were invited to COP for the first time.

Resources: Key Outcomes of COP28 for the Education Sector

How to get more involved, show leadership, and take action:

Key events during COP28 for the education sector

The Greening Education Hub - About
The Greening Education Partnership coordinators and UNESCO secretariat collaborated with the UAE Ministry of Education on the Greening Education Hub. This was the first education-focused pavilion hosted by a COP presidency and featured over 200 sessions relevant to daily COP themes, emphasising education's crucial role in addressing climate change. It had a focus on greening schools, curriculum, teacher training, educational systems, and communities. 

The Higher Education Pavilion - Schedule
1st December
  • 10-12: ANSUR - Drexel, UC3, UCCRN, SDSN
  • 12-1: Student Voices in Climate Action - UConn
  • 1-2: Briefing: How COP Works: with Perry World House, Director, Professor of Philosophy Michael Weisberg, and International Organization for Migration and former United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Director Koko Warner – University of Pennsylvania
  • 3-4:20: Yale Planetary Solutions: Climate Leadership: Perspectives from the Yale Community -- Human Capital Strategies for Africa: Can Green Jobs Tackle Unemployment in Africa? – Yale University
  • 4:30-6: Transdisciplinary Research for Climate Solutions – Penn State
2nd December
  • 8-10: Climate Fragility with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Anne Witoswky – University of Pennsylvania
  • 10-1: EXATEC Tec de Monterrey Alumni Networking Event – Tec de Monterrey
  • 1-2: Briefing: The Geopolitics of Climate Change and Energy Security with Practice Professor Scott Moore – University of Pennsylvania
  • 2-3: Decarbonizing Defense and Beyond: Leading by Example on Clean Energy with the Commission on Nuclear Energy and Climate Security – University of Pennsylvania
  • 3-4: Yale Planetary Solutions: Opportunities for Transformative Change in the Global South– Yale University
  • 4-6: Western academia and nomadic cultures collaboration to address climate change – GW
  • 6-7: Higher Education Pavilion Networking – All Welcome!
3rd December
  • 9-10: SDG Platform for Local Action, Ambassador Miguel Ruiz-Cabañas – Tec de Monterrey
  • 10:30-12: Yale Planetary Solutions: Education, Innovation, and Advocacy at Yale and in New Haven – Yale University
  • 1-2: Briefing: Extreme Heat: Building Urban Resilience and Reducing Global Risks with Perry World House and Director of Programs Lauren Anderson – University of Pennsylvania
  • 2-3: A Climate Conference for Cities? With Glasgow, UK City Council and Perry World House Visiting Fellow and Adjunct Professor Lolita Jackson
  • 3-4: US, Brazil, and African countries in a Transnational conversation about climate change and Health from a Global South perspective – Drexel
  • 4-6: Mongolian NDC & NAP Development Matters – GW
  • 6-8: Young Researcher/Student Reception – WashU, Drexel and UC3 and Higher Education Pavilion Reception
4th December
  • 9-11: TBD –University of Cambridge
  • 11:30-12:30: Yale Planetary Solutions: Remaking Sustainable Trade Project – Yale University
  • 1-2: The Sky Is Not the Limit: The Role of Commercial Geospatial Imaging Satellites in the Energy Transition – Penn
  • 2-3: Fireside Chat: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Arctic and Global Resilience Iris A. Ferguson with Practice Professor Scott Moore – Penn
  • 3-5: Senior Leaders Shaping Institutional Action – Second Nature, Yale University, Stony Brook U, Truckee Meadows Community College
  • 5-6:30: Brazilian and US researchers present study on the Intersection of Gender, Health, and Climate Adaptation in Brazil – Drexel
5th December
  • 9-11: Securing Indigenous Peoples' Rights in the Green Economy: Learning from Past Mistakes - Securing Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in the Green Economy (SIRGE) Coalition, GW
  • 11-1: Networking session for Latin American Universities - Tecnológico de Monterrey
  • 1-2: Securing the Just Transition: A Fireside Chat on Energy and Climate Infrastructure Protection - Penn
  • 2-3: Just Transitions Panel – Penn
  • 3-5: Penn Design Cities Event with Co-Director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research Genie Birch – University of Pennsylvania
6th December
  • 9:15-10:45: Yale Planetary Solutions: UNEP/Global ABC Report - Building Materials and the Climate: Constructing the Future – Yale University
  • 11:00-13:00: The Critical Role of the Built Environment – University of Cambridge
  • 13:00-15:00: Report of the SDSN Global Commission on Urban SDG Finance with Professor of Law William Burke-White – University of Pennsylvania
  • 15:00-16:00: Yale Planetary Solutions: Green Chemistry: Addressing Climate Change from Molecules to Megacities - Yale University
  • 17:00-19:00: Cities Finance Meeting with Co-Director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research Genie Birch – Penn
7th December
  • 12:10 PM - 12:40 PM GMT: Times Higher - 'How are climate risk management and resilience strategies imperative to institutional progress?'
  • 10:15-11:30: Yale Planetary Solutions: American Public Support for Climate Action – Yale University
  • 13:30 – 14:30pm (UAE)/ 9:30-10:30 (UK) - How can we use evidence to build climate resilient education systems? At UK Pavillion, Blue Zone
  • 2-3: Malawi and Global Health Initiatives Panel with University Professor Ezekiel Emanuel, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Allison Lassiter, and Members of the Delegation of Malawi – University of Pennsylvania
  • 3-4: Canadian Energy: Innovation, Opportunities, and Challenges in the Era of Climate Change – University of Toronto
  • 4-5: Revisiting SDG7: Challenges and Opportunities with Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Co-Director Sanya Carley – University of Pennsylvania
  • 5-7: Youth and the role of universities in fostering climate solutions
9th December
  • 9-10:30: Solutions for the Energy Transition: Translating Global Goals into Local Action with Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Executive Director Cory Colijn– University of Pennsylvania
  • 10-12: University-Assisted Community-Driven Climate Implementation Solutions at COP28 – Drexel
  • 12-1: Center for the Future of Cities at Tec de Monterrey – Tec de Monterrey
  • 1-2: Great Lakes Ecological Restoration & Sustainable Agriculture with Penn Praxis Managing Director Thabo Lenneiye – Penn
  • 2-3: Briefing: Climate Vulnerability and Small Island States with Dean for Global Studies Stacy-ann Robinson – Penn
  • 3-4:30: Yale Planetary Solutions: Navigating Waves of Change: Financing adaptation and resilience in the blue economy– Yale University
  • 4:30-6:00: Ocean Based Carbon Dioxide Removal –Centre for Climate Repair, University of Cambridge
  • 6-8: TBD – University of Pennsylvania
10th December
  • 9-11: Landscape Regeneration – University of Cambridge
  • 11-1: Unleashing Innovation: How Universities Can Drive Progress Towards Net-Zero - University of Toronto
  • 1-2: Measuring adaptation: from targets to indicators in the water sector, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Allison Lassiter – University of Pennsylvania
  • 2-3: Food Waste and Climate Change with Lecturer in Organizational Dynamics Steve Finn – Penn
  • 3-4: Yale Planetary Solutions: Co-creating the future of food – Yale University
  • 4-5:30: Carbon Sequestration – Drexel, Botswana University & Botswana Government
  • 6-8: Young Researcher/Student Reception – Wash U, Yale, GW
11th December
  • 10:15-12:15 Yale Planetary Solutions: Intergenerational Perspectives on Climate Action – Yale University
  • 2-3: The Role of Academic Institutions in a Low-Carbon Transition with Kleinman Center for Energy Policy Executive Director Cory Colijn – University of Pennsylvania
  • 3-4:30: TBC – GCSE, University of Cambridge
  • 5-7: Higher Education Networks Gathering – University of Toronto, Cambridge, Drexel, GW
  • 7: TBD – University of Pennsylvania
12th December
  • 12-1: Center for the Future of Cities at Tec de Monterrey – Tec de Monterrey
  • 6: TBD – University of Pennsylvania


COP28 official website
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