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Energy, Environment

COP28 Media Alert: Achieving net zero on campus and recognising the vital role of indigenous communities in climate stewardship

Monash University 4 mins read

The ‘Energy and Industry, Just Transition and Indigenous People’ theme at COP28 will explore the urgent need to rapidly change our energy production and consumption, whilst doing so in a fair, inclusive and equal manner that considers and limits the negative impacts on global communities, including those with indigenous rights to natural resources and land. 

As part of Monash University’s Blue Zone pavilion at COP28, a number of Monash University academics, industry experts and student groups will host a series of events that focus on pathways for rapid decarbonisation, while accelerating economic opportunity and job growth taking a holistic view of the just transition and the socio-economic considerations across all sectors, including energy. 

Tuesday 5 December, 10 - 10.45am (Gulf ST)
Key challenges and opportunities to financing the pathway to net zero campuses

Universities, akin to small cities, significantly contribute to greenhouse emissions but can quickly transition to net-zero due to campus control. They can excel in climate action through innovation, cross-sector partnerships, and an engaged staff and student body.

Over 1,000 universities have joined the UN's Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges, supported by resources like the Net Zero on Campus guide along with the initiative’s accompanying online toolkit and a community of practice. 


  • Nicole Iseppi - Director of Energy Innovation, Bezos Earth Fund
  • Maurie McInnis - Stony Brook University President
  • Jeffrey Sachs - UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network President
  • Elena Crete - Head of Climate and Energy, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Tuesday 5 December, 10.45 - 11.30am (Gulf ST)
Achieving Net Zero on Campus: Unlocking Finance with SDSN

This event provides an opportunity to create an improved understanding among financiers and philanthropies of universities' challenges across different regions whilst increasing Universities’ awareness of emerging climate financing options. In so doing, it aims to identify solutions that promote targeted and innovative financing mechanism(s) for universities, with the hope to create avenues for joint efforts to address the gap between the commitment and ambition of universities and the financial resources needed to fund the transition.


  • Nicole Iseppi - Director of Energy Innovation, Bezos Earth Fund
  • Maurie McInnis - Stony Brook University President
  • Jeffrey Sachs - UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network President
  • Elena Crete - Head of Climate and Energy, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Tuesday 5 December, 11.30am - 12.30pm (Gulf ST)
A holistic approach to Just Energy Transition

As the world is working together to achieve the climate goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement, just transition rhetoric increasingly plays a central role in the interface between curbing emissions and the socio-economic disruptions of climate action. This event will call for a holistic approach to just energy transition by discussing the key drivers and barriers to tackle socio - economic disruptions while accelerating the energy transition across different areas including: investment, skills and education and empowerment of women and girls.


  • John Thwaites - Chair, Monash Sustainable Development Institute and Climateworks Centre
  • Megan Argyriou - Board Chair, 1 Million Women
  • Paul Butar - Deputy Head, Indonesia’s JETP Secretariat
  • Shreejan Pandey - General Manager, Monash Energy Institute
  • Trang Nguyen - Southeast Asia Lead - Climateworks Centre

The following can be attributed to Professor Thwaites:

“As the risks and impacts of climate change become more visible every year, the call for Net zero emissions are no longer restricted to country-level commitments. It has become equally important for non-state actors, like businesses and other institutions, to build pathways towards net zero by mid-century or sooner.”

“Universities have a unique position of trust in the community and by setting an example they can amplify the change needed for a safe climate. Many universities are now committing to net zero emissions but need help in understanding what to do in practice. This guide aims to provide that help and to set up a global ‘community of practice’ to share knowledge about the net zero journey.”

Tuesday 5 December, 3.30 - 5pm (Gulf ST)
Global Indigenous Voices: Navigating Success, Confronting Challenges and the Role of Institutions in Just Transitions

This workshop aims to enhance the focus on the Indigenous community within the imperative shift towards a sustainable future. It offers a platform for global Indigenous leaders to share insights on the challenges and successes in the Just Transition space. The discussions will question the role of major institutions across various sectors, examining their responsibility to eliminate colonial barriers and elevate Indigenous leadership in climate action and participation in the Just Transition process.


  • Professor Tristan Kennedy - Pro-Vice Chancellor (Indigenous), Monash University, Australia
  • Jess Walters - Project Coordinator, Monash Sustainable Development Institute

The following quote can be attributed to Professor Kennedy:

“Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates the vital role of Indigenous knowledge, leadership in climate action, and the need to enhance their financial access. Now is the time to heed global Indigenous voices for sustainable progress. Embracing diverse Indigenous perspectives is pivotal for our planet's future.”

Follow Monash University’s COP28 journey and join the global conversation on climate change. 

About Monash University’s presence at COP28

Monash is deeply committed to urgent, collective action on climate change. 
Our focus will be on sharing expertise, influencing policymakers and convening change makers in our shared pursuit of a more sustainable, just world for all.

The Monash University delegation will join the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference, COP28 in Dubai, UAE, from 30 November to 12 December 2023.


A range of Monash University experts will be available to discuss climate related issues at COP28. Read more from them in our climate change special on Monash Lens.

Monash Media
T: +61 (0) 3 9903 4840

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