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Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability at the 2023 UN Climate Conference COP28

Stanford at COP28

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November 30 - December 12, 2023

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A delegation of Stanford scholars traveled to Dubai, UAE, for the 28th UN Conference of Parties ( COP28), the world's largest annual gathering on climate action. Faculty, staff, and students  participated as unofficial observers, volunteers, and speakers, sharing their expertise on topics ranging from climate justice to blue foods to scalable and affordable technology-driven climate solutions.

Read COP28 takeaways from Stanford experts
Watch the Stanford debrief webinar from COP28

Events

Stanford experts spoke at events held throughout the conference’s green and blue zones. Find details for events organized by or featuring scholars affiliated with the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability below, and watch event recordings by visiting the UN Climate Change streaming channel on YouTube.

Dec. 1 | 11:05 – 11:30 GST

The Climate Crisis: A global problem that needs scalable and affordable technology-driven solutions

The Swiss Re Institute has warned of an 18% potential GDP loss by 2050. Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability Dean Arun Majumdar addressed the need for swift action with Emmanuel DeSousa, co-founder and managing partner of investment firm Princeville Capital. They discussed the transition to low-carbon economies and access to sustainable energy in a fireside chat  exploring scalable climate technology solutions. 

Where: Technology & Innovation Green Stage, Expo City, Green Zone

Dec. 4 | 08:00 - 10:00 GST 

Investing in Resilient Coastal Communities 

Coastal and marine ecosystems protect communities from ocean risks, but these ecosystems are under threat. Josheena Naggea, the André Hoffmann Ocean Innovation Fellow with Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions and the World Economic Forum, joined a panel to discuss the importance of developing an investable project pipeline through cross-sector collaboration in order to drive investment into regenerating ocean natural capital and building resilient coastal communities. 

Where: Resilience Hub, Expo City, Blue Zone or  watch webcast

Watch the recording:

Dec. 4 | 15:00 – 16:30 GST

Catalyzing aligned, inclusive, and co-beneficial action for climate change and mental health

Climate change is negatively impacting not only physical health but also mental health, as individuals and communities cope with climate stresses and shocks, as well as threats to their and future generations’ welfare. Stanford Medicine’s Brittney Wray joined a panel to discuss intersections of climate change and mental health and potential research and action agendas. Organized by Connecting Climate Minds.

Where: SE Room 5, Expo City, Blue Zone

Watch the recording:

Dec. 4 | 15:30 - 1630 GST

Rights in Blue Natural Capital Projects 

Coastal habitats sequester carbon, support fisheries and provide coastal protection, yet we are losing them fast. A new level of understanding of values provided by the marine environment has the potential to create investment opportunities at scale, but also carries risks for indigenous people and local communities. Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions fellow Josheena Naggea joined this panel assembling storytellers, scientists, restoration specialists, and investors to debate rights in blue natural capital projects.

Where: Main Theater, Climate Ocean Pavilion, Expo City, Blue Zone, or watch webcast

Watch the recording:

Dec. 4 | 15:45 - 16:45 GST

Climate Change and the Right to Education 

On Day 5 of COP28, Stanford undergraduate student Dylan Yap was a panelist and lead speaker at this event hosted by UNESCO in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Education. He focused on the importance of youth involvement in climate negotiations and the growing influence of the youth in enacting real change within climate movements. 

Where: Green Zone, Greening Education Hub, Mobility Pavillion, AI-Erth Room or watch webcast (link coming soon)

Dec. 5 | 11:30 - 12:30 GST

Empowering People and Nature: Supporting Resilient Solutions for Our Ocean 

This event brought together a diverse group of experts, practitioners, policymakers, and community representatives from the global tropics to develop actionable strategies to center equity in ocean governance, reconnect people and the ocean, redefine ocean literacy, and decolonize ocean research. Panelists included Josheena Naggea, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions.

Where: Nature Positive Pavilion, Expo City, Blue Zone or watch webcast

Watch the recording:

Dec. 6 | 13:15 - 14:00 GST 

Climate Technology and Climate Justice: Can the Two Be Compatible?

Climate justice requires a strong focus on the most vulnerable. Climate technology offers vast potential for mitigation and adaptation but requires massive capital. This side event at COP28 presented diverse voices on opportunities for making investment in climate technology pay real dividends for justice.  Organized and moderated by Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Director Chris Field in cooperation with the International Centre for Climate Change and Development and the Independent University, Bangladesh. 

Where: SE Room #6, Expo City, Blue Zone or watch webcast 

Watch the recording:

Dec. 8 | 16:30-17:45 GST

Accelerating Marine Nature-Based Solutions through Sustainable Ocean Plans

Coastal and marine ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses, and tidal marshes are known as ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems for their ability to sequester and store carbon. This side event at COP28 provided a forum for government decision-makers and local practitioners to discuss strategies to protect and restore blue carbon ecosystems. Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Hoffmann Fellow Josheena Naggea shared closing remarks based on her research on nature-based solutions.

Where: Commonwealth Pavilion, Expo City, Blue Zone

Dec. 9 | 9:00-10:00 GST

Women and the Changing Tide: Addressing inequities in small-scale fisheries and aquaculture

The ocean economy presents opportunities for nations to build innovative, equitable, and sustainable economies. However, women's contributions to the fisheries and aquaculture sector are often undervalued and overlooked. This side event, co-hosted by the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions, explored how inclusion in decision-making and policy development can further gender equality and women’s rights in ocean sectors.

Where: Resilience Hub, Expo City, Blue Zone and virtual

Watch the recording:

Dec. 9 | 09:30-11:00 GST

Navigating the Blue Future: Unlocking Sustainable Finance for Commonwealth's Ocean Economy

Our oceans can contribute to both climate mitigation and adaptation while supporting the livelihoods of billions. However, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 ‘Life Below Water’ is still the least-funded SDG. Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Hoffmann Fellow Josheena Naggea joined this side event as a panelist and discussed opportunities for a more sustainable blue economy.

Where: Commonwealth Pavilion, Expo City, Blue Zone

Dec. 9 | 14:15-15:15 GST

Making the most of the coast: Best practice on marine nature-based solutions

This event explored how approaches to protection and restoration of coastal habitats – from robust science to community engagement – can ensure marine, nature-based solutions deliver on climate and biodiversity goals. Panelists included Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Hoffmann Fellow Josheena Naggea.

Where: UK Pavilion, Expo City, Blue Zone

Dec. 9  |  17:00-18:00 GST

Diversifying Seafood Consumption to Address the Biodiversity Crisis 

Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Research Scientist Michelle Tigchelaar joined this conversation on diversifying approaches to aquatic food consumption that could help take pressure off of popular species and address biodiversity loss in our oceans, rivers, and lakes. 

Where:  Food Systems Pavilion, Expo City, Blue Zone or watch webcast

Watch the recording:

Dec. 10 | 11:00-12:00 GST 

Little Fish, Big Impact: Transforming School Meals through Local Aquatic Foods  

At the nexus of school meals, nutrition, and climate resilience, there lies an untapped opportunity to integrate locally sourced, sustainable aquatic foods into school meals. Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Research Scientist Michelle Tigchelaar and other panelists discussed the pivotal role of aquatic foods in ensuring nutrition and food security for some of the world’s most malnourished and climate-vulnerable populations. 

Where:  Food Systems Pavilion, Expo City, Blue Zone or watch webcast

Watch the recording:

Dec. 10 | 14:00 - 15:00 GST 

Marrakech Partnership Implementation Lab: Aquatic Food and Protein Transition 

Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Research Scientist Michelle Tigchelaar joined this panel exploring the state of the aquatic food sector in a targeted effort to promote innovative approaches that expand the contribution of such “blue food” systems to climate, food security and nutrition. The event considered the complex interaction between global and local components in aquatic food systems with a focus on equitable distribution of benefits and accounting for climate benefits.

Where: Lab 2, Al Jeer, Expo City, Blue Zone

Dec. 10 | 17:45 - 18:45 GST

Sustainable Food Systems Investment: Accelerating Public-Private Partnerships 

This event highlighted and facilitated the integration of public-private finance into sustainable food systems. Presentations were followed by breakout sessions to discuss opportunities for cross-sector partnerships across two UNFCCC climate champion priority themes: regenerative landscapes and blue food. Panel included Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions Research Scientist Michelle Tigchelaar.

Where: UK Pavilion, Expo City, Blue Zone

Stanford exhibit at COP28

Stop by and say hello to Stanford delegates at booth #7 in the Expo City Blue Zone, on December 8 and 9 from 8:30am - 5pm GST.  

For media

See our COP28 Tip Sheet, which notes scholars who are attending the conference as part of Stanford’s 2023 observer delegation. For help in reaching experts email sustainability_media@stanford.edu or christineblack@stanford.edu.

Stanford Attendees

Faculty

Arun Majumdar

Dean, Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, Jay Precourt Professor, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, of Energy Science & Engineering, of Photon Science, by courtesy, of Materials Sci & Eng and Senior Fellow, by courtesy, at Hoover

Chris Field

Chris Field

Melvin & Joan Lane Professor of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies (Biology); Director, Woods Institute for the Environment; Professor of Earth System Science; Senior Fellow at Woods and the Precourt Institute for Energy

William Barnett

William Barnett

Chair of the Social Science Division of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability (SDSS), and the Thomas M. Siebel Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy and Organizations at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business (GSB). 

Other Stanford scholars in attendance

  • Anela Arifi, Ph.D.  Student, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (SDSS) and Knight-Hennessy Scholar
  • Fola Ayoola, Ph.D.  Student, Energy Science and Engineering (SDSS)
  • Orisa Coombs, Ph.D.  Student, Mechanical Engineering (SoE) and Knight-Hennessy Scholar
  • Ian Faucher, Graduate Student, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (SDSS)
  • Madison Freeman, Graduate Student, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (SDSS)
  • Emilia Groupp, Ph.D.  Student, Anthropology (H&S)
  • Kaitlyn Leahy, Graduate Student, Sustainability Science and Practice, SDSS
  • Jim Leape, Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment and Co-Director, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions
  • Samantha Lee, Graduate Student, Sustainability Science and Practice (SDSS)
  • Joyce Lin, Graduate  Student, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (SDSS)
  • Hannah Melville-Rea, Ph.D.  Student, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (SDSS) and Knight Hennessy Scholar
  • Josheena Naggea,  André Hoffmann Ocean Innovation Fellow, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions (SDSS)
  • Brian Rogers, Ph.D.  Student, Earth System Science (SDSS)
  • Bianca Santos, Ph.D.  Student, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (SDSS)
  • Sarah Sausan, Graduate Student, Energy Science and Engineering (SDSS)
  • Dhruv Suri, Graduate Student, Energy Science and Engineering (SDSS) and Knight Hennessy Scholar
  • Emily Tench, MBA candidate, Graduate School of Business
  • Michelle Tigchelaar, Research Scientist, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions
  • Jayson Toweh, Ph.D. student, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (SDSS)
  • Liya Weldegebriel, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center on Food Security and the Environment
  • Meghan Wood, MBA/M.S. Student, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (SDSS)
  • Brittany Wray, Director, CIRCLE | Community-minded Interventions for Resilience, Climate Leadership and Emotional Wellbeing, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford Medicine
  • Tong Wu, Senior Scientist and Director, Stanford Natural Capital Project China Program 
  • Dylan Yap, Undergraduate Student, Environmental & Product Design Engineering and UNESCO delegate

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