Climate Diplomacy, the Path to COP28: a IEP@BU-ECFR-SDA Working Lunch

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iep ECFR lunch talk

The upcoming COP28, commencing on November 30th, promises to be different from its predecessors in the United Nations' climate conferences. This distinction is not solely due to its location in Dubai, within the United Arab Emirates, a region currently at the heart of new geopolitical tensions. 

Major nations are approaching this summit with a pragmatic mindset, which holds the potential for more substantial outcomes compared to previous gatherings.  

Notably, the European Union and the United Arab Emirates have converged on a compromise position that entails a commitment to phase out “unabated” fossil fuels, which leave an open door to keep on using fossil fuels, but only if their emissions are abated.  

Even Gulf nations have come to the realization that they have both the interest and the resources to participate in the race toward an energy transition.  

Despite being major oil exporters, Gulf monarchies pragmatically prefer to invest in technologies that can mitigate the environmental impact of oil and gas, rather than completely relinquishing the resources that underpin their prosperity. 

The climate diplomacy surrounding the COP28 summit has taken center stage in the inaugural session of the working lunch series organized by the Institute for European Policymaking in collaboration with the European Council on Foreign Relations and the SDA Bocconi School of Management.  

This event was held at the new venue of SDA Bocconi in Rome. 

The invitation-only working lunch featured as speakers: 

  • Cinzia Bianco, a Research Fellow at ECFR, where she focuses on the Middle East and North Africa program. 

  • Francesco Perrini, the Associate Dean for Sustainability at the SDA Bocconi School of Management, as well as a Fellow at IEP@BU.  

  • Leading the conversation was Stefano Caselli, the Dean of the SDA Bocconi School of Management and a fellow at IEP@BU. 

The conversation followed Chatham House rules. 

Looking ahead, the next two sessions in the series co-organized by IEP@BU, ECFR, and SDA Bocconi are as follows: 

  • December 6, 2023 - "The Enlargement and the Future of European Institutions" with contributions from Marta Dassù and Sylvie Goulard

  • February 27, 2024 - "Governing the New Digital Europe" featuring insights from Ulrike Esther Franke and Francesco Decarolis

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IEP@BU does not express opinions of its own. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors.