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October 19, 2023

The COP28 Survival Guide: How it Works and What to Expect

Hear from Nigel Topping, Former UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP26, as we set the scene for COP28 in Dubai.

The COP, or Conference of Parties, is the annual convention of the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This is where all the high-level decision-making around the global transition to net-zero occurs – as such, it’s an incredibly important event for stakeholders all around the world.

With the next one just around the corner, this episode will set the scene for COP28 in Dubai, explaining the inner workings of the COP and identifying the key issues up for discussion. We’ll explore:

  • The successes and shortcomings of the COP mechanism, and how it squares up to the challenge of multilateral negotiations;
  • The complex ecosystem of government, business, civil society and lobbying that has coalesced around the formal proceedings, and the challenges and opportunities that it brings;
  • And the headline issues that will be faced (and hopefully resolved) over the course of COP28.

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Speaker’s Bio

Nigel Topping, Global Ambassador with the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions

As one of the 14 Global Ambassadors, Nigel was selected by the UN to help accelerate the implementation of net-zero targets and climate adaptation. Until November 2022, Nigel was the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion from COP26 in Glasgow, having been appointed by the UK Prime Minister in January 2020.

Working alongside Egypt’s High-Level Champion for COP27, Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Nigel helped strengthen collaboration and drive action from businesses, investors, organisations, cities, and regions on climate change, and coordinate this work with governments and Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Previously, Nigel was CEO of We Mean Business, a coalition of businesses working to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy. Before that, he was Executive Director of the CDP, following an 18-year career in the private sector, having worked across the world in emerging markets and manufacturing. Nigel is also a non-executive director of the UK Infrastructure Bank, and is a member of the UK’s Climate Change Committee.


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