The ECCD team, lead by Professor AbuBakr Bahaj head of the Energy and Climate Change Division (ECCD), contributed to the topic of energy access, cities and urban infrastructure at COP28 UAE, while also contributing to the debate about ocean resources.

Activities included presenting and then moderating a panel during the Transitioning Cities to Net Zero Carbon: Inspiring Change, Innovations and Collaboration event hosted at the Kenya Pavilion as part of COP28 UAE on Wednesday 6th December 2023.

Cities, where the majority of the world’s population resides, are both major contributors to climate change and are vulnerable to its impacts. Cities are responsible for around 80% of our greenhouse gas emissions, but they also encompass the economic power and leadership which are pivotal in our strategy to reach our net zero targets. In the face of escalating climate change challenges, such urban areas are critical battlegrounds in the global effort to mitigate the effects of our emissions and adapt to the predicted changing climate. Recognising this, there is an urgent need for cities and towns to transform themselves into resilient hubs that will support greener, more sustainable communities while actively pursuing pro-growth net-zero carbon policies.

The side event sought to harness an exchange of experience and knowledge within global cities and to foster a holistic dialogue on urban development within the context of climate responsibility. The event encompassed a panel discussion and a dialogue with attendees at the event, where panellists and participants shared their experiences and innovations that will enable cities to flourish through sustainable urban environments.