GCSE Events at COP28

Higher Education Pavilion Logo COP28The Global Council for Science and the Environment (GCSE), in partnership with 12 higher education and higher education-related organizations, are hosting the Higher Education Pavilion in the Blue Zone at COP28. This pavilion space will serve as a catalyst for conversations on the role of higher education in multilateral climate negotiations and in advancing climate action solutions that span boundaries. 

In addition, our delegates will be participating in events throughout COP28 that will be hosted in both the Green Zone and Blue Zone. The full list of events hosted by GCSE or our delegation members are listed below. 

If you're onsite in Dubai, UAE, GCSE invites you to attend our official events and events that our delegates our participating. GCSE delegates are noted with asterisks* below.

To learn more about GCSE's work at COP28, please visit our COP28 webpage.

Transdisciplinary Research for Climate Solutions Panel Participants
Panel Participants (from left to right): Vikrant Sapkota, Anjali Desai, Brandi Robinson, Erica Smithwick, Manar Alsaif, and Ans Irfan

Panel: Transdisciplinary Research for Climate Solutions

01 December, 2023 at 16:30 - 18:00 local time

Location: Higher Education Pavilion, Blue Zone B7, Building 90, Thematic Area 1 pavilion number 120


  • *Dr. Erica Smithwick, Director of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Institute and lead of the new Penn State Climate Consortium at Pennsylvania State University
  • Brandi Robinson, Associate Professor and Co-director of the Local Climate Action Program at Pennsylvania State University
  • Manar Alsaif, Strategic industry partnerships at Cambridge University

  • Ans Irfan, Professor at Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California

  • Anjali Desai, Student at the University of British Columbia

  • Moderator: Vikrant Sapkota, Graduate Student in the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences at Pennsylvania State University

Panel: Inventing the Net Zero World

Panel Participants on the stage
Inventing the Net Zero World Panel Participants

05 December, 2023 at 16:00 - 17:00 local time

Location: Mubadala Pavillion, Green Zone


  • Fatima Al Kaabi
  • *Laalitya Acharya, Founder at The Nereid Project
  • Yashasvi Raj, Ph.D. Student in Climate Engineering at The
    University of Cambridge
  • Moderator: Shaima Al Blooshi
  • Description: Join Fatima Al Kaabi and a range of Youth Inventors from around the world as they delve into a captivating panel discussion on the power of innovation to reshape a sustainable future. Hear firsthand about each person’s visionary ideas on building a sustainable future,  the challenges they face, and the groundbreaking solutions they’ve developed. This dynamic conversation is a unique opportunity to witness the essential role of inventors in shaping a brighter and more sustainable tomorrow.

Panel: Built Environment

06 December, 2023 at 11:00 - 13:00 local time

Location: Higher Education Pavilion, Blue Zone B7, Building 90, Thematic Area 1 pavilion number 120


  • Shaun Fitzgerald, Director at Centre for Climate Repair, University of Cambridge
  • Caroline Ray, Regional Director at ARUP East Africa (virtual)
  • Chris Trott, Head of Sustainability at Foster & Partners
  • Eugenie L. Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Chair of Urban Research and Education and Co-Director of the Institute for Urban Research at Pennsylvania State University
  • *Dr. Esther Adhiambo Obonyo, Executive Director, Global Building Network at Pennsylvania State University
  • Ans Irfan, Climate Security Fellow, Center for Climate and Security, Council on Strategic Risks & Affiliate Faculty, Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University
  • Mohammad Khalid, Vice-President and General Manager for Middle East and Africa at Johnson Controls

Description: This event will explore the critical role of the built environment in our journey towards net zero and beyond. The creation of new and refurbishment of existing parts of the built environment and the subsequent and ongoing operation is responsible for >50% of the emissions of greenhouse gases in some areas of the world. And yet there are significant opportunities to reduce emissions across the supply chain as part of efforts to improve the quality of life for people across the world.

Panel Participants (from left to right): Anna Stewart-Ibarra, Karim Ahmed, Esther Obonyo, Stephen Hammer

Panel hosted by the Global Council for Science and the Environment (GCSE): Creating the Next Generation of Boundary-Spanning Climate Leaders

08 December, 2023 at 12:00 - 13:00 local time

Location: Higher Education Pavilion, Blue Zone B7, Building 90, Thematic Area 1 pavilion number 120


  • *Dr. A. Karim Ahmed, Adjunct Professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center
  • *Dr. Stephen Hammer, CEO at The New York Climate Exchange
  • *Dr. Esther Obonyo, Associate Professor of Engineering Design and Architectural Engineering and Director of the Global Building Network at The Pennsylvania State University
  • Moderator: Dr. Anna Stewart-Ibarra, Executive Director at the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI)

Panel: Youth and the Role of Universities in Fostering Climate Solutions

08 December, 2023 at 17:00 - 19:00 local time

Location: Higher Education Pavilion, Blue Zone B7, Building 90, Thematic Area 1 pavilion number 120

Learn more about GCSE's work at COP28 here