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Environment, Science

UNSW experts available to comment on COP28

UNSW Sydney 5 mins read
Key themes at the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) include technology and innovation, inclusion, frontline communities and finance. Photo: Getty Images/suken

A range of UNSW experts will be able to comment on key themes relating to COP28, which will be held in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December. 

UNSW Academics who will be on the ground at COP28 

  • Professor Ben Newell – Director of the UNSW Institute for Climate Risk and Response – will be attending events and speaking at IUCA events in the second week of COP28, including within the Australia Pavilion on 11 Dec. Professor Newell is also available to discuss climate change psychology and how individuals can be persuaded to reduce their own carbon emissions. Contact: l.matson@unsw.edu.au
  • Dr Aaron Eger – Postdoctoral Fellow at the UNSW School of BEES – will be speaking at an event at 9:30 on 9 Dec at the IUCN Pavillion. Dr Eger is available to speak on the Kelp Forest Alliance and the program’s push to protect and restore 4 million hectares of marine kelp forests by 2040. Dr Eger can also speak about their associated benefits for nature and society, how climate change is impacting these vital marine ecosystems, and how we can scale up kelp forest conservation to achieve these goals. Contact: aaron.eger@unsw.edu.au 
  • Professor Greg Leslie – Director of the UNSW Global Water Institute – will be speaking on behalf of the International Universities Climate Alliance at the ‘The Critical Role of Water in Achieving Global Climate Goals’ on Dec 1, 3pm – 4pm. The event will be held at the IPCC-WMO-MERI-NCM Pavilion. Professor Leslie can also comment on the need to increase investment in capacity in the water sector, to help achieve water and sanitation objectives of SDG6 in vulnerable communities in a warming climate. Contact: g.leslie@unsw.edu.au 
  • Dr Rahman Daiyan will be presenting on the hydrogen economy, specifically on the development of a hydrogen strategy for the Pacific Region with IRENA and Pacific Community at the Australian Pavillion on 2nd of December. Dr Daiyan can also comment on the future of the hydrogen economy. Contact: r.daiyan@unsw.edu.au or +61 406 187 805
  • Energy expert Professor Iain Macgill can discuss accelerating clean energy investment and action in Australia and the Pacific Islands and Territories. Contact: i.macgill@unsw.edu.au 

Energy 

  • Associate Professor Neeraj Sharma is available to discuss next-generation batteries and the importance of energy storage in relation to affordability. Contact: neeraj.sharma@unsw.edu.au or 0419 439 130
  • Honorary Associate Professor Mark Diesendorf is available to discuss energy policy: "It is now very late to avoid crossing a tipping point into irreversible, rapid, climate change. We need international cooperation on substantial, effective action." Contact: m.diesendorf@unsw.edu.au or 0402 940 892. 
  • Associate Professor Hemanshu Pota from UNSW Canberra is an expert in electricity supply systems with sustainable energy and is available to discuss sustainable technology and renewable resource integration. Contact: h.pota@adfa.edu.au

Consequences of climate change 

  • Scientia Professor Matthew England can discuss the urgency of action on climate change, the consequences of inaction, specific climate impacts on Australia and the benefits of deep emission cuts. He can also discuss the history of COP meetings, how they work and why they are important. Contact: m.england@unsw.edu.au 
  • Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla – Director of the UNSW Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology – is an expert in materials sustainability and innovative waste and recycling technologies to help achieve decarbonisation. Contact: SmartCentre@unsw.edu.au
  • Associate Professor Donna Green is an environmental scientist with international recognition for world-leading multidisciplinary applied research who can discuss the interconnected human impacts of climate change, energy policy and air pollution. Contact: donna.green@unsw.edu.au 
  • Associate Professor Shane Keating works at the UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics whose research uses powerful mathematical tools to better understand the ocean and our planet. A/Prof. Keating is available to discuss oceanography, climate change and emissions from cargo ships. Contact: l.matson@unsw.edu.au  
  • Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick from UNSW Canberra is an expert in climate change and is available to discuss heatwavesclimate extremes, observed trends and future changes. Contact: sarah.kirkpatrick@unsw.edu.au
  • Dr Jianfeng Xue from UNSW Canberra is an expert in geotechnical engineering and is available to discuss the climate’s impact on geotechnical structures. Contact: jianfeng.xue@adfa.edu.au
  • Professor Jason Sharples from UNSW Canberra is an expert in bushfires and is available to discuss bushfire dynamics and extreme bushfire development. Contact: j.sharples@adfa.edu.au

Business/Economics 

  • Professor Richard Holden from the School of Economics can comment on the economy, agreement on market mechanisms and trading mechanisms, climate finance, the costs of climate mitigation and adaptation measures. Contact: richard.holden@unsw.edu.au 
  • Dr Maria Balatbat from the School of Accounting, Auditing and Taxation can comment on climate change and sustainability reporting for companies, evaluating carbon footprints by companies, sustainability of infrastructure and construction, transitioning to a circular economy, and integrated reporting. Contact: m.balatbat@unsw.edu.au 
  • Dr Timothy Neal from the School of Economics can comment on the potential consequences of climate change for economic activity and food security from inaction. Contact: timothy.neal@unsw.edu.au 
  • Professor Gigi Foster from the School of Economics can comment on the economy, social influence, corruption, behavioural economics, and Australian policy. Contact: gigi.foster@unsw.edu.au 
  • Associate Professor Taha Rashidi can discuss people’s preference on the pricing of the transport infrastructure and transport mobility and accessibility. Contact: rashidi@unsw.edu.au 
  • Dr Melrose Brown from UNSW Canberra is a space domain awareness expert and is available to discuss the impact of human activity on the sustainability of the space environment. Contact: melrose.brown@adfa.edu.au

Health and built environment 

  • Professor in Urban Health and Environment Xiaoqi Feng can discuss nature-based climate solutions for human health: "The lack of mature tree canopy in communities living with disadvantage is a major barrier to achieving health equity and environmental justice; I hope COP28 helps to renew and increase investment in strategies that aim to deliver greater tree equity." Contact: xiaoqi.feng@unsw.edu.au 
  • Dr Patrick Harris can comment on taking a health and equity lens to climate change, cities and infrastructure policy and planning. Contact: patrick.harris@unsw.edu.au 
  • Professor Renate Egan can comment on the future of photovoltaics, supply chain challenges and solutions in solar, distributed energy, and the path to full electrification. Contact: r.egan@unsw.edu.au
  • Professor Johannes le Coutre can comment on food security, cellular agriculture, humanitarian engineering, SDG2, and all aspects of the global agri-food system. Contact: johannes.lecoutre@unsw.edu.au
  • Associate Professor Paul Osmond is available to discuss climate resilient urban designgreen infrastructure and urban cooling: "Humanity needs to do more, do it better and do it quicker; time to avoid dangerous warming is running out. Let’s make COP28 part of the solution". Contact: p.osmond@unsw.edu.au
  • Scientia Professor Deo Prasad AO is available to discuss buildings and cities as they pertain to decarbonisation and climate change: "I hope all countries now commit to 2030 and 2050 goals as the evidence is clear. 2030 goals are most important and should be 50% (like NSW) and with actions and plans to meet the targets". Deo is the CEO of the NSW Decarbonisation Innovation Hub based at UNSW and also works with the UNEP’s Global Alliance for Building and Construction, created after Paris COP. Contact: d.prasad@unsw.edu.au  
  •  Dr Negin Nazarian is an urban climatologist with a focus on the ways the built environment interacts with the climate, and in return, how urban dwellers are affected by this interaction. She leads the Climate Resilient Cities research lab, a group focussing on the pressing challenges of urban climate including urban heat exposure and ventilation. Contact: n.nazarian@unsw.edu.au or 0411 199 096 

Law and climate justice 

  • International law expert Scientia Professor Jane McAdam can discuss climate mobility, including climate change-related displacement, migration, planned relocations and evacuations. Contact: j.mcadam@unsw.edu.au
  • Dr Noam Peleg can discuss the impact of climate change on children’s rights. Contact: n.peleg@unsw.edu.au
  • Professor Rosalind Dixon can comment on COP28 targets, taxes and politics. Contact: rosalind.dixon@unsw.edu.au
  • Professor Cameron Holley can discuss various environmental challenges around biodiversity, water use, energy and climate change issues. He can be contacted on c.holley@unsw.edu.au
  • Professor Jeremy Moss who leads the Climate Justice Research program at UNSW is available to discuss climate justice issues, fossil fuel production and exports, energy prices, Australian and the Asia Pacific the fairness of agreements, net zero targets and Australia’s global role, high per capita emissions. "COP28 is unlikely to deliver the level of emissions cuts the world needs. Fossil fuel exporters such as Australia must drastically cut their production of fossil fuels. Given that current pledges to cut emissions will likely lead to substantial temperature rise by the end of the century, this is not a good scenario." Contact: j.moss@unsw.edu.au 
  • Professor Anthony Burke from UNSW Canberra is an expert in environmental politics and international relations and is available to discuss the performance of the Paris Agreement, climate security and climate justice. Contact: a.burke@unsw.edu.au
  • Dr Megan Evans from UNSW Canberra is an expert on investment in biodiversity and natural capital. She is available to discuss carbon offsets, nature-based solutions and biodiversity finance. Contact: megan.evans@unsw.edu.au

For general media enquiries please call (02) 9385 2864. Please leave a voicemail message and we’ll return your call as soon as possible. 

Email: media@unsw.edu.au. This email is monitored during business hours. For after-hours enquiries please call +61 (02) 9348 0061. 

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