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Zero-Carbon Future

A collaborative climate and innovation exchange at COP28

CATF is partnering with an exciting range of climate advocates, technical experts, government officials, philanthropists, and private sector leaders from around the world to tackle the most challenging climate and energy issues at COP28 in Dubai, UAE. We’ll ask hard questions, share innovative solutions, and highlight the opportunities we must seize to transform our global energy system to address climate change.

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Full event schedule

The Zero-Carbon Future pavilion is located in the Blue Zone
Opportunity Area, Thematic Arena 3, Area B7
Energy and Finance Building (Building 88), First Floor (map)

All times are listed in local time for Dubai, UAE (GMT+4)

Saturday, December 2

Jumpstarting the Carbon Management Challenge: Fostering global collaboration and inclusive engagement

  • Local time: 12:30 – 13:15
  • Location: GDA Connect pavilion, Green Zone
  • Leaders around the world are addressing the imperative of accelerating the deployment of carbon capture, removal, use, and storage technologies through collaborative initiatives, exemplified by the Carbon Management Challenge launched by the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and more partner governments and supporting organizations. Recognizing the critical role of these technologies in achieving global net-zero goals and decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors, the Carbon Management Challenge provides a platform to create an enabling environment for CCUS deployment, share best practices between experienced operators and first movers, and work towards common targets. How are global leaders identifying key opportunities and leveraging diverse perspectives to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies? Can the Carbon Management Challenge fast-track action towards reaching 1 GT of CCUS deployment by 2030?
  • Speakers: Niall Mac Dowell, Professor in Energy Systems Engineering, Imperial College London; Isabela Morbach, Cofounder and Director, CCS Brazil; Katherine Romanak, Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas, Austin; Lee Beck, Senior Director, Europe and Middle East, Clean Air Task Force (moderator)

Hard realities of decarbonization: A conversation with The Economist’s Vijay Vaitheeswaran and CATF’s Armond Cohen

  • Local time: 14:00 – 14:45
  • Location: Thematic Arena 3 Stage, Blue Zone
  • Greenhouse gas emissions have increased 60% since the first COP – while billions still lack adequate energy access. The complexities of the climate challenge have never been more clear. It’s time we develop an expansive, inclusive approach to climate action that matches that complexity. Join us for an important conversation about a new vision for a risk-informed, zero-carbon future.
  • Speakers: Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force; Vijay Vaitheeswaran, The Economist 

Sunday, December 3

Addressing the global clean power gap: Tools and pathways to bankability

  • Local time: 10:00 – 11:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • The adoption of renewables and other clean power technologies (e.g. battery energy storage systems, electric vehicles) at scale has been slow across most developing and emerging economies (EMDEs), mainly due to their limited access to (cheaper) international financing. The challenging political, economic, financial and regulatory environments in these markets tend to make long-term private investments less attractive, often affecting the bankability of clean power projects. It becomes essential to create a systematic approach to assess, compare and address issues affecting bankability, allowing for a flexible pathway to determine investment priorities for Development Financial Institutions (DFIs), Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), and philanthropies within unique national contexts.
  • Speakers: Joe Curtin, MD Power & Climate, Rockefeller Foundation; Martin Nagell, Director Mergers and Acquisitions, Masdar; Nicole Iseppi, Managing Director Global Energy Innovation, Bezos Earth FundNaomi Wagura, Director Country Programs, GEAPPMauro Soares, Co-founder and COO, RELP; Florencia Agatiello, Global Head of Research, RELP

From promises to partnerships: Opportunities to reshape Africa-Europe partnerships for effective climate action

  • Local time: 13:00 – 13:45
  • Location: Thematic Arena 3 Stage, Blue Zone
  • The African Union and EU have agreed on a common vision for a renewed partnership for mutual sustainable prosperity within the Global Gateway Strategy. With the war in Ukraine, Europe turns to Africa for energy security help. Africa’s holds 30% of the critical minerals needed to power the world’s energy transition. Join us as we explore how Africa-Europe relations can be reshaped to encourage true mutual benefits across both continents.
  • Speakers: Olumide Abimbola, Executive Director, Africa Policy Research Institute, Berlin ; Faten Aggad, Member, African High-Level Panel of Experts on the Reform of the Multilateral System; Marit Kitaw, Interim Director, African Union Commission; Stefano Signore, Head of Unit, Directorate General for International Partnerships, European Commission; Lily Odarno, Director, Energy and Climate Innovation, Africa, Clean Air Task Force 

High climate ambition and carbon capture

  • Local time: 13:30 – 14:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Over the past year, countries, states, and other actors seeking to achieve ambitious climate targets have recognized the need to include carbon capture and storage as part of the toolkit to reach their climate goals. The urgent need to advance carbon capture to meet ambitious climate targets was highlighted in the April 2023 International Energy Agency (IEA) special report, Credible Pathways to 1.5C, Four Pillars for Action in the 2020s. The IEA’s report concluded that even with aggressive deployment of other important decarbonization tools like wind and solar, “carbon management will be needed to meet climate goals.” This need has become clear at the national and subnational level as climate ambitious countries as diverse as California, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Brazil have put together plans to meet their climate targets.  
    Join us for a panel discussion featuring government leaders and other stakeholders discussing how carbon capture policies in their jurisdictions have been used to achieve greater climate action.
  • Speakers: Isabela Morbach, Cofounder and Director, CCS Brasil; Dr. Belladonna Maulianda, Special Energy Advisor for Coordinating Minister of Maritime & Investment Affairs, Indonesian Government; Secretary Wade Crowfoot, California Natural Resources Agency; Justina Gallegos, Deputy Director for Industrial Innovation, Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House 

Monday, December 4

Supporting energy regulators in Africa

  • Local time: 10:30 – 11:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • The path to a sustainable energy model in Africa – including universal access and climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as the growing presence of decentralized energy resources in the midst of a much-needed industrialization process – requires new approaches to policy, regulation, technology, innovation and skills to achieve this goal. Sound regulation stands out as an indispensable component of any strategy to guide African countries in designing and implementing this transition. Training in this area is urgently needed. The African School of Regulation (ASR) is an ambitious initiative that seeks to harness the powerful influence of policy and regulation in the overlapping areas of energy and climate change by building the human capital that the African energy sector needs to achieve the goals of Agenda 2063 for sustainable development on the continent. The ASR is a professional education and applied research organization, soon to be established in Africa, for Africa and run by Africans. This session will show how appropriate adaptation of international regulatory best practices to the African context, as well as innovative regulatory approaches, can significantly improve the performance of the energy sector. 

A global playbook for nuclear energy development in embarking countries: Six dimensions for success

  • Local time: 11:00 – 12:00
  • Location: IAEA pavilion
  • The Energy Futures Initiative Foundation (EFI), the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and Clean Air Task Force (CATF) are launching a newly assembled nuclear energy playbook for embarking countries, outlining options for – and pathways to – the responsible, sustainable, and effective development of new nuclear projects and industries. The playbook is intended to provide a guide for how to scale effectively while addressing institutional, business model, security, and human capital complexities. Learn while recognizing that each country has its own set of challenges and opportunities. 
  • Speakers: Ernest J. Moniz, Founder & CEO, Energy Futures Initiative; Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force; Diane Cameron, Head of Division, Nuclear Technology Development and Economics, Nuclear Energy Agency (moderator) 

Money for Methane: Mobilizing methane finance to achieve the goals of the Global Methane Pledge 

  • Local time: 12:00 – 13:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • The IEA estimates that just over $75 billion is needed to finance methane abatement between now and 2030 to reach its Net-Zero scenario, with $34 billion needed in high-income countries, $27 billion in upper-middle income countries, $13 billion in lower-middle income countries, and $3 billion in low-income countries. While over 40% of methane abatement measures can be achieved at no net-cost, with some efforts even turning profit, there are significant obstacles to securing the necessary, initial financing to cut methane. Methane abatement projects have long pay-back options and low internal rates of return, especially compared to other oil or gas investments, and NOCs face constraints given competing priorities for domestic spending, especially in lower-middle income countries and low-income countries. Furthermore, donors and development finance institutions generally don’t prioritize or track methane abatement goals, and many banks and funds increasingly have rules limiting financing to the oil and gas industry.   These obstacles present significant challenges to mobilizing the urgent financing needed for methane abatement in the energy sector, but they can be overcome with a coordinated and systemic overhaul in how all stakeholders approach methane finance. Join us as we consider how governments, industry, international financial institutions, cities, and municipalities can work together to raise catalytic levels of methane abatement financing on capital markets and build investor appetite in one of the fastest paths to slowing climate change.
  • Speakers: Claire Henly, Senior Advisor, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, U.S. Department of State; Zubin Bamji, Program Manager, Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), Energy and Extractives, World Bank; Bella Tonkonogy, Director, U.S., Climate Policy Initiative; André Abadie, Managing Director, Centre for Carbon Transition, J.P. Morgan; Mohamed Sultan, Africa Lead, Global Methane Hub 

Building new green electricity bridges from Middle East to Central Europe

  • Local time: 12:00 – 13:30
  • Location: Greek pavilion, Blue Zone
  • Greece is aiming to evolve into a net exporter of green energy, marking a profound transformation in the country’s energy balance and giving a boost to Greece’s long-term ambitions to become a source of clean electricity to the wider region. In this context, this event aims to raise awareness of Greece’s potential to become a significant green energy exporter in the Eastern Mediterranean and Europe.
  • Speakers: Tinne Van der Straeten, Minister of Energy, Kingdom of Belgium; Alexandra Sdoukou, Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, Greece; Antonella Battaglini, CEO, Renewable Grid Initiative; Manos Manousakis, CEO, IPTO; Roland Roesch, Director, Innovation and Technology Center, IRENA; John Karydas, Managing Director, ElicaGroup; Lee Beck, Senior Director in Europe and the Middle East, Clean Air Task Force (moderator)

Finance and decarbonization: Crucial underappreciated gaps

  • Local time: 14:00 – 15:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • To achieve net-zero global emissions by midcentury, we must invest roughly $4.5 trillion per year in the energy sector, roughly double what we are currently investing in energy. For emerging and developing economies, investment must quadruple by 2030. Financial markets and the availability of capital are often incorrectly assumed to be efficient and readily available to enable global decarbonization. Such a perspective increases the risk of decarbonization failure by ignoring potentially significant finance barriers and reinforces narrows policymaker attention on mechanisms that are likely small in scale, such as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics or global financial aid for less wealthy nations. The global modeling community, largely focused on technology feasibility, has also not assessed whether the world can plausibly finance the transition they model at the pace and scale needed. As a result, the global climate policy community has ignored significant global finance barriers that require immediate action.Join us as leading experts to learn the breadth of challenges relating to financial markets and a net-zero transition to better identify the risks, opportunities, and limiting factors of which we should be aware to inform decarbonization, climate management, and future policy and research work. 
  • Speakers: Kurt Waltzer, Senior Advisor, Clean Air Task Force; Kasparas Spokas, Director of Insights and Integration Strategy, Clean Air Task Force; Jeff Brown, Managing Director, Energy Futures Finance Forum; Chris Greig, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Senior Research Scientist, Princeton University; Mekala Krishnan, Partner, McKinsey Global Institute; Wale Shonibare, Director of Energy Financial Solutions, Policy, and Regulation, African Development Bank ; Vamsi Alla, Executive Director in Corporate Finance Advisory, J.P. Morgan Center for Carbon Transition 

The role of carbon credits in promoting the early retirement and replacement of coal power plants

  • Local time: 15:30 – 16:30
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • The Rockefeller Foundation announced the Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI) in June – an ambition to set a new comprehensive standard for the use of carbon finance to incentivize a just transition away from coal-fired power plants to renewable energy in emerging economies. Over 90% of coal plants are shielded from competition due to regulation or long-term contracts that guarantee their returns, resulting in many coal plants having no financial motivation to retire early.    In response, the CCCI has designed and submitted a full methodology to Verra that can be used to develop a world-first project approach to accelerate the managed and equitable phase-out of coal plants and incentivize their full or partial replacement with clean power this decade. This event will showcase and discuss progress on the CCCI initiative with experts across methodology development, buyer engagement, and pilot transactions/asset owners.   

Methane Ministerial: Mobilizing action, financing solutions, and achieving reductions

  • Local time: 18:30 – 20:00
  • Location: SE Room 6
  • The Global Methane Pledge is catalyzing methane action across the energy, waste, food and agriculture sectors. This Ministerial will review progress on country implementation, resource mobilization, and execution of projects across the world to reduce methane in line with the goals of the pledge.
  • Speakers: John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change; Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy; Inger Anderson, Executive Director UNEP; Maisa Rojas, Minister of Environment Chile; ministers from Global Methane Pledge countries, civil society, the private sector, and philanthropy

Tuesday, December 5

Driving emissions reductions in heavy emitting sectors

  • Local time: 10:00 – 11:00
  • Location: Women’s Pavilion Majlis, Green Zone
  • Heavy emitting industries will need to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions if net-zero targets are to be met. Global players are looking to decarbonise their operations through a number of ways, including through carbon management technologies. In countries around the world, carbon management will play a role in curbing emissions from cement, steel, chemical plants and more. Join us as we unpack how these technologies are helping to facilitate the just transition, and hear about the ongoing opportunities tied to collaboration and knowledge sharing related to carbon management.
  • Speakers: Rahma Alshamsi, Heavy Emitting Sector Lead, COP28 UAE Presidency; Lee Beck, Senior Director in Europe and the Middle East, Clean Air Task Force; Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Devika Wattal, Innovation Consultant, Global Cement and Concrete Association; Ellina Levina, Senior Manager, Finance and European Affairs, Global CCS Institute (moderator)

Repowering vs recycling: The case for repurposing solar panels and batteries for access applications

  • Local time: 10:30 – 11:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • The stratospheric rise in solar PV deployment over the last decade has opened up the opportunity to reuse mature panels in established markets in areas with access deficits, including in the context of post-conflict and refugee applications. This is already being put into effect by a growing number of small-scale entrepreneurs, but the size of the current opportunity, and the fact that solar retirements are expected to reach 400 GW per year by 2050, means that there is much more that can be done.     Initial analysis of the potential current size of the market, focusing on Germany, shows that nearly 7 GW of solar PV capacity, are ready for repurposing, and that deploying these in areas of the Middle East and Africa would yield 80% more electricity than they currently provide in Germany. The Rockefeller Foundation is now working with partners to map out the development of a scaled market, with the intention of facilitating the deployment of reused solar panels across access deficit countries.  This event will bring together researchers, developers, and investors to discuss the potential of the second-use market for clean energy technology, and explore the regulatory, economic, and logistical issues that will need to be addressed to unleash its benefits. 

Decarbonization in the oil and gas market:  The road to net-zero emissions and the roles of National Oil Companies and International Oil Companies

  • Local time: 12:00 – 13:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • What is the role of oil and gas producers in the energy transition? What does accountability look like for the sector? How must we retool climate action to better support and drive the transition of not oil majors not only in the west, but also of national oil companies and producers in the Global South, where energy demand is set to dramatically increase. Panelists will seek to clarify what oil and gas producer responsibility looks like within a shifting global energy landscape and explore how responsibility for oil and gas decarbonization can and should be shared between producers and consumers. 
  • Speakers: Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science, University of Oxford; Mohammed Hassani, Head of Environmental Matters Department, OPEC; Vicki Hollub, President and CEO, Occidental Petroleum; Nathan Borgford-Parnell, Science Officer, CCAC Secretariat, UNEP; Olivier Le Peuch, Chief Executive Officer, Schlumberger; Bob Dudley, Chair, OGCI; Olivia Azadegan, Energy Transition Director, MENA, Clean Air Task Force 

The new nuclear playbook

  • Local time: 13:30 – 14:10
  • Location: Net Zero Nuclear pavilion
  • Nuclear energy can play a pivotal role in mitigating climate change, improving energy security, and creating the conditions for social progress through sustainable economic growth. But to make impact at required scale, nuclear energy would need to be deployed in significant quantities in countries that currently do not have any commercial reactors, referred to as “embarking countries” by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The new report from the Energy Futures Initiative, Clean Air Task Force, and Nuclear Threat Initiative, “A Global Playbook for Nuclear Energy Development in Embarking Countries” lays out a comprehensive strategy to help these countries chart their individual nuclear journeys.

  • Speakers: Sama Bilbao y Leon, Director General, World Nuclear Association; Rafal Kasprow, CEO, MS Orlen Synthos Green Energy; Ernest Moniz, CEO, Energy Futures Initiative; Lee Beck, Senior Director in Europe and the Middle East, Clean Air Task Force (moderator)

Powering world-class African analysis for the energy transition: A global imperative 

  • Local time: 13:30 – 14:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • To achieve an equitable global net zero future, lower-income and under-electrified countries must play a much bigger role in deciding how we get there. Africa will be home to roughly a quarter of the world’s total population by 2050 and is a vital source of resources critical to the energy transition. Mapping viable global pathways to a net zero emissions energy system cannot happen without African leadership, analysis, and data.    However, global modeling efforts often apply very little analytic rigor to African economies. They often rely on data and trends from other regions that do not reflect local markets and make limited assumptions about future growth. These gaps skew conceptions of what the global energy transition will look like to the perspectives, needs, and priorities of wealthy economies. Designing energy strategies to build clean, vibrant, and prosperous economies depends on analysis grounded in local data and context. Yet too often, African energy analysts lack the resources and stable institutional homes to support in-depth research and long-term engagement. In response, The African Energy Futures Initiative will fund world-class interdisciplinary hubs for energy transition research and analysis across the continent through an African-led competitive selection process. By strengthening local expertise, giving African analysts exceptional institutional homes and opportunities, and facilitating collaboration across countries and disciplines, this initiative will ensure that African energy and climate planning is led by African researchers and better informs global transition pathways.   
  • Speakers: Saliem Fakir, Executive Director, African Climate Foundation; Ashvin Dayal, Senior Vice President for Power and Climate, Rockefeller Foundation; Lily Odarno, Director, Energy and Climate Innovation, Africa, Clean Air Task Force; Murefu Barasa, Managing Partner, EED Advisory Limited and Fellow, Energy for Growth Hub; Dr. Youba Sokona, Former Vice Chair, IPCC

Clean tech funding for net zero

  • Local time: 14:30 – 16:00
  • Location: EU pavilion
  • Meeting our climate goals and getting to net zero emissions by 2050 is an enormous challenge. It means transforming every major sector of our economies: power, industry, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, waste, and buildings. This transformation requires both behavioural change and technological innovation. To deploy and scale technological innovation in the relevant timeframes we need large investments into scalable clean solutions – from long duration storage to clean steel or chemicals to synthetic fuels – across the world. Public funding needs to be smartly deployed to leverage and not crowd out private funds.This event aims to learn from each other about best-practice approaches to clean tech funding, highlight the role the public sector can play in leveraging private capital into next-generation technology, highlight the value of emission pricing or carbon taxation in creating revenue to invest in innovation, and highlight the international dimension of “getting down the cost curve” for clean technologies.
  • Speakers: Kurt Vandenberghe, DG for Climate Action, European Commission; Firas Al-Abduwani, Ministry of Energy and Minerals; Leslie Maasdorp, New Development Bank; Andrew Light, U.S. Department of Energy; Lee Beck, Clean Air Task Force

Reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector

  • Local time: 14:30 – 15:30
  • Location: Iraqi pavilion
  • Speakers: Yousif Muayad Yousif, Director of the Directorate of Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Iraq; Gbenga Komolafe, NUPRC Chief Executive, Nigeria; Abdulla Malek, Office of the UAE Climate Change Special Envoy; Daniel Benefor, Senior Programme Office, Ghana, EPA; Alfredo Miranda-Gonazalez, Deputy Director, International Methane, Clean Air Task Force; Martina Otto, Head of CCAC Secretariat (moderator)

Clean Air Task Force Media Reception

  • Local time: 16:30 – 17:30
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Join us for a drink and refreshments while connecting with CATF subject-matter experts with deep technical and policy knowledge. Find sources on a wide range of topics, including efforts to transform Africa’s energy system, the role of the Middle East in a clean energy future, the future of oil and gas, progress on global methane abatement, as well as energy modeling, advanced nuclear energy, carbon capture, hydrogen, fusion energy, and more.

Atoms4NetZero: Turning commitments into action

  • Local time: 18:30 – 19:30
  • Location: Meeting Room 5, Blue Zone
  • Nuclear power provides a quarter of the world’s clean electricity and has an important role to play in the transition to net zero. Recognizing that nuclear power is part of the solution to mitigate climate change, the COP28 Presidency and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will co-host this Ministerial event at COP28 to announce the IAEA Statement on Nuclear Power, which reflects critical role of nuclear in the net zero transition, supported by +50 nuclear operating and newcomer countries, paving the way to count with nuclear in the pathway to net zero.
  • Speakers: Ernest Moniz, CEO, Energy Futures Initiative; Lee Beck, Senior Director in Europe and the Middle East, Clean Air Task Force

Wednesday, December 6

Carbon capture and storage developments in small island developing states 

  • Local time: 10:00 – 11:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Some Small Island Developing States are seeking to implement carbon capture and storage themselves, while others are at an earlier stage and are seeking information. All ask for knowledge transfer on carbon capture and storage, as was shown in the First Global Dialogue on the Mitigation Work Programme on the 3rd June in Bonn at SB58. This event will facilitate and stimulate South-South knowledge transfer on carbon capture and storage between Small Island Developing States.  
  • Speakers: Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Penelope Bradshaw-Niles, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries, Trinidad and Tobago; Dr. David Alexander, UTT; Adiola Walcott, University of Guyana; Nomesia dos Reis, ANPM, Timor Leste; Dr. Katherine Romanak, University of Texas; Tim Dixon, IEAGHG (moderator).

Charting a new vision for European climate action and leadership

  • Local time: 11:30 – 13:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Europe has long been seen as a climate pioneer: European countries have helped commercialize some of the key climate technologies driving clean energy deployment, and the European Union’s regulations, including the European Emissions Trading System, have served as standard-setters globally. The European Union’s target of complete climate neutrality by 2050 is one of the most ambitious climate goals a suite of countries has passed together. Yet, a changed global geopolitical and geoeconomic environment threatens Europe’s position as a climate leader going forward, requiring Europe’s decisionmakers and policymakers to change their approach to tackling climate as an energy systems problem, situated within this new reality and pursuing as many solutions-options as possible.
  • Speakers: Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate, Iceland; Michal Kurtyka, Former Minister of Climate and Environment, and COP24 President, Poland; Daniel Westlén, State Secretary to Minister for Climate and the Environment, Sweden; Johanna Schiele, Policy Officer, EU Commission, DG CLIMA; Alexandra Bocșe, State Adviser on Climate and Sustainability, Presidential Administration of Romania; Lee Beck, Senior Director in Europe and the Middle East, Clean Air Task Force 

Localizing climate action in Africa through indigenous innovation

  • Local time: 15:00 – 16:00
  • Location: Thematic Arena 3 Stage, Blue Zone
  • Locally led innovation in energy supply, transport, and markets are shifting the ways Africans produce and consume energy. While they may not always make headlines, Africa is replete with examples of successful climate innovation stories that can serve as inspiration for climate action across the world. Join us as we examine some local initiatives in Africa that are shifting the dial on climate action.  
  • Speakers: Olasimbo Sojinrin, Chief Operating Officer, Solar Sister; Jit Bhattacharya, CEO and Co-Founder, Basi-Go; Rukayatu Sanusi, Executive Director, Ghana Climate Innovation Center; Lily Odarno, Director, Energy and Climate Innovation, Africa, Clean Air Task Force

Getting hydrogen right: Perspectives from three leading NGOs

  • Local time: 16:30 – 17:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • It’s a make-or-break moment for hydrogen’s role in our clean energy future.   With the potential to flexibly deliver energy without polluting the climate, hydrogen could be a valuable climate solution if we get it right, particularly for decarbonizing sectors that are difficult to electrify. That’s why the United States, Europe, and other countries and regions are deploying vast new incentives to jumpstart a new clean hydrogen economy. But how it is produced, managed, and used all matter. Get those right, and these investments could have an enormous climate benefit. Get them wrong and we risk squandering huge resources on projects that could increase climate pollution while worsening local air quality. Join us as we convene leaders from CATF, NRDC, and EDF to chart a sustainable path forward for this innovative clean fuel.
  • Speakers: Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force; Fred Krupp, CEO, Environmental Defense Fund; Manish Bapna, CEO, Natural Resources Defense Council; Valerie Volcovici, Energy and Environment Policy Correspondent, Reuters (moderator)

Exclusive networking reception with global energy and climate innovation leaders

  • Local time: 18:00 – 20:00
  • Location: Address Dubai Marina
  • Speakers: Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Global Energy & Climate Innovation Editor, The Economist; Lara Boro, Chief Executive, The Economist Group; Pedro Pizarro, President and Chief Executive, Edison International; Badr Jafar, Chair, Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum (BPCF); Armond Cohen, Executive Director, Clean Air Task Force

Friday, December 8

Nuclear energy at scale: A new pathway to meet the climate and human development challenge

  • Local time: 11:00 – 12:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • The world faces the twin challenges of managing climate change while also meeting needs for abundant energy for sustainable development. Nuclear energy is a necessary element to meeting both of those challenges, but, despite global momentum, it faces several impediments to deployment at scale, especially in embarking countries. Nuclear energy must change the way it is financed, licensed, and delivered. This two-part event will first showcase CATF’s new pathways, a suite of solutions designed to make nuclear energy relevant to the urgent climate and human development challenges of this century. Then, it will highlight the Global Playbook for Nuclear Energy Development in Embarking Countries, a joint work product of CATF, NTI, and EFI, outlining options for — and pathways to — the responsible, sustainable, and effective development of new nuclear projects and industries in nuclear new-comer countries. It will conclude with a panel discussion on these topics. 
  • Speakers: Carlos Leipner, Global Director, Advanced Nuclear Energy, Clean Air Task Force; Ross Matzkin-Bridger, Senior Director, Nuclear Materials Security, Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI); Kathryn Huff, Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy; Henri Palliere, Head Planning and Economic Studies Section, IAEA; Michel Berthelemy, Chief of Staff & Nuclear Strategic Policy Advisor, OECD NEA; Stephen Yamoah, Executive Director, Nuclear Power Ghana; Ana Birchall, Special Envoy, Nuclearelectrica, Romania; Stephen Comello, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) 

Managing competition and collaboration in a new age of industrial policy

  • Local time: 13:30 – 14:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • A wave of new industrial policies across regions have signaled the arrival of a new period of global climate action. Emissions reduction ambitions have been married with, and in many cases surpassed by, economic ambition to lead on the development, innovation, production, and deployment of advanced energy technologies. Alongside unprecedented government investments in these industries, new protective trade measures have emerged alongside occasional strain on international partnerships. While competition can yield accelerated development of technologies that will be critical to global climate action, cooperation and collaboration remain central to all regions’ abilities to meet their targets. Industrial policies have also signaled a turn away from specialization and comparative advantage development — with each region targeting technology development, innovation, manufacturing, and deployment for every promising technology — in favor of broader-based competition. Policymakers will discuss how regions racing to lead the clean energy transition can nonetheless maintain and enhance their partnerships.
  • Speakers: Isabel Munilla, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multilateral Engagement, Climate and Market Development, Office of International Affairs; Jin Yamaguchi, Special Advisor, Japan Ministry of Energy, Trade, and Industry, and Director, JETRO NY; David Yellen, Strategic Advisor, Clean Air Task Force 

The geopolitics of climate action

  • Local time: 15:30 – 16:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • A series of geopolitical and economic crises from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic repercussions, to emerging and worsening global conflicts have constrained governments’ abilities to prioritize or execute climate action. A resurgence in coal use in Europe and a global race to secure oil and gas resources have demonstrated that, even as climate action becomes ever more urgent, geopolitical and economic security remain the priority. It is clear that climate action must adapt to and prepare for geopolitical disruption, rather than remaining a separate and, in many cases, competing priority. What are the key geopolitical and economic trends that will shape climate action over the next yearIn this conversation, cohosted by Clean Air Task Force and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, experts discuss key trends and explore how policymakers can align climate objectives with geopolitical and economic imperatives, and ensure that policies are resilient to disruption.
  • Speakers: Noah Gordon, Acting Co-Director, Carnegie’s Sustainability, Climate, and Geopolitics Program; David Yellen, Strategic Advisor, Clean Air Task Force; Rebecca Tremain, Head of UK Government Affairs, Clean Air Task Force; Anirudh Suri, Managing Partner, India Internet Fund, and Nonresident Scholar, Carnegie India 

Climate action and leadership in Africa: Ideas, shifts, and realities

  • Local time: 17:00 – 18:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Eisenhower Fellowships is a private, non-profit organization created in 1953 by a group of prominent American citizens to honor President Dwight D. Eisenhower for his contribution to humanity as a soldier, statesman, and world leader. The organization identifies, empowers and connects innovative leaders through a transformative fellowship experience and lifelong engagement in a global network of dynamic change agents committed to creating a world more peaceful, prosperous and just. The Kenyan chapter of the fellowship is taking the lead in bring African leaders from Eisenhower and other global fellowships that have a focus on climate change. The African leaders represented in the discussion include fellows from Eisenhower Fellowships and Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellowships.
  • Speakers: Dr. Debisi Arabar, Imperial College; Dr. Olufunso Somorin, African Development Bank; Dr. Linda Ogallo, NORCAP; Dr. Akinyemi Akinyugha, Government of Nigeria; Mr. Dwight Wilson, World Climate Corps; Mr. Hubert Ruzibiza, Africa Green Infrastructure Investment Bank

Saturday, December 9

Local solutions, global impact: A deep dive into West Africa’s climate adaptation landscape

  • Local time: 10:30 – 11:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Climate change is a profound global challenge with palpable impacts on every corner of the world. Africa, with its dependence on agriculture and a rapidly growing population, stands on the frontline of this crisis. Climate change-vulnerable countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal demonstrate the mounting threats of rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, extreme weather events, and other climate-induced challenges. Despite these nations’ robust policy commitments, evident in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other national strategies, effective climate adaptation remains a challenge, particularly at the grassroots level. This gap threatens not only present generations, but future generations as well. Recognizing the urgency to delve deeper into these issues, especially in light of global dialogues at COP26 and COP27 which emphasized the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), APRI, in collaboration with local stakeholders, embarked on a two-year project to examine locally-led adaptation (LLA) initiatives in these countries. The result is a synthesis report, providing a holistic overview of climate adaptation in the three West African countries, which will be launched at this event. 
  • Speakers: Dr. Iniobong Abiola-Awe, Director of the Department of Climate Change, Ministry of the Environment Nigeria; Professor Yacob Mulugetta, Professor of Energy and Development Policy at the University College London; Ruka Sanusi, Executive Director of Ghana Climate Innovation Centre; Dr. Olufunso Somorin, Regional Principal Officer at the African Development Bank; Dr. Ibrahima Sy, Senior Climate Change Fellow, Senegal; Dr. Grace Mbungu, Senior Fellow and Head of Climate Change Program (moderator) 

Getting real on hydrogen: A pragmatic view of use, production pathways, transport potential, and more

  • Local time: 12:30 – 13:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Clean hydrogen has the potential to reduce emissions across key hard-to-abate sectors of the global economy. It’s also overhyped. Although the typical cost metrics of USD/kg H2 are useful, the question of scale both in terms of infrastructure development and financing is often lost in the conversation.  Cut through the hydrogen hype by joining our panel of experts providing pragmatic view of hydrogen uses, production pathways, transportation potential, and economics. We’ll discuss reasonable expectations for reduction in H2 production costs, challenges to scalability in a timely manner, and requirements for financing large infrastructure projects in an inflationary environment. 
  • Speakers: Rebecca Tremain, Head of UK Government Affairs, Clean Air Task Force; Gus Wakim, Production and Export Director, Zero-Carbon Fuels, Clean Air Task Force; Peter Schniering, Founder and CEO, FCA Cleantech Architects; Oliver Philips, Regional Head Sustainable Finance, Barclays; Emanuele Bianco, Programme Officer, IRENA

Nuclear financing – Creation of IBNI is critical for global nuclear scaling and 2050 net zero

  • Local time: 14:00 – 15:00
  • Location: IAEA Atoms4Climate Pavilion
  • Speakers: Elina Teplinsky, Partner and Energy Section Leader, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; David Livingston, Senior Advisor & Managing Director for Energy, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry; Yves Desbaizelle, Director General, Nuclear Europe; Ana Birchall, Special Envoy for Strategic and International Affairs, SN “Nuclearelectrica” S.A.; Robert Bright Mawuko Sogbadji, Deputy Director, Power (Nuclear and Alternative Energy), Ministry of Energy, Ghana; Carlos I. Leipner, Director of Global Nuclear Energy Strategy, Clean Air Task Force (moderator).

Pledges to plans: Effective principles and processes for viable and durable transitions

  • Local time: 14:30 – 15:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Governments worldwide have set ambitious targets for reducing emissions and have promoted the development and deployment of clean energy solutions through the use of financial incentives. They have, however, been slow to reform energy planning to effectively manage risk, failing to ensure the timely integration and coordination of multiple systems and priorities. While there are many reasons for this, it is clear such challenges will not simply be solved by “permitting reform” alone. The lack of effective planning presents a “valley of death” in energy policy. To confront it, we need a fundamental shift in how we approach the policy lifecycle. Join us as CATF experts present principles for effective transition planning and the components that make up an effective transition plan. In addition, we will speak with a global panel to characterize the successes and gaps they see in planning across the world. 
  • Speakers: Chris Grieg, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Senior Research Scientist, Princeton University; Wale Shonibare, Director of Energy Financial Solutions, Policy & Regulation at African Development Bank; Johanna Schiele, Policy Officer at the EU Commission, DG CLIMA; Indu K. Murphy, Sector Head for Climate, Environment & Sustainability, CSTEP 

Fusion energy: Sustaining the net-zero transition and energy security

  • Local time: 16:00 – 18:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • What is fusion energy, what could it deliver, and where does it stand right now?   Join us for an expert discussion with policymakers, researchers, and some of the world’s foremost thinkers and doers in the fusion space. Panelists will discuss fusion’s potential to provide a transformative source of zero-emission electricity and energy – helping to drive decarbonization, energy security, and energy access around the world. 
  • Speakers: Jennifer Ganten, Commonwealth Fusion Systems; Zabrina Johal, General Atomics; Ralf Kaiser, International Centre for Theoretical Physics; Phil Larochelle, Breakthrough Energy Ventures; David Livingston, Office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Nitendra Singh, ITER Organization; Sehila M. Gonzalez de Vicente, Clean Air Task Force (moderator) 

Sunday, December 10

Getting to 24/7 clean energy in California

  • Local time: 12:00 – 13:00 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Andrew Beebe of Obvious Ventures and Caroline Choi, SVP for Corporate Affairs at Edison International, will discuss the challenges and opportunities of developing a 100%, 24/7 clean energy grid in California by 2045. The state is working to do this despite massive increases in demand, retirements of nuclear facilities and challenges to offshore wind. Southern California Edison is one of the largest utilities in America, serving over 15 million customers across 130,000 square kilometers. 
  • Speakers: Andrew Beebe, Managing Director, Obvious Ventures; Caroline Choi, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Edison International/Southern California Edison (SCE); David Yellen, Strategic Advisor, Clean Air Task Force

Pathways to 24/7: Accelerating climate solutions

  • Local time: 13:30 – 14:45 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • We must accelerate the decarbonization of the electric grid and achieve deep reductions in GHG emissions within the next 10 years to address climate change, and a growing body of research finds that that will require firm, dispatchable resources to complement variable wind and solar. 24/7 strategies, which seek to match electricity use with carbon-free electricity on a narrow time basis, have emerged among numerous electricity buyers who recognize the needs of deep decarbonization and wish to leverage their buying power to deploy the necessary resources on the grid. Join us as we discuss early lessons and share best practices from the leaders pursuing 24/7 carbon-free electricity.
  • Speakers: Carlos Leipner, Global Director, Advanced Nuclear Energy, Clean Air Task Force; Devon Swezey, Senior Manager, Global Energy and Climate, Google; Bruce Douglas, CEO, Global Renewables Alliance; Katherine Ott, Constellation Energy; Rich Powell, CEO, ClearPath; Irina Lazzerini, Principal Specialist, Clean Energy, Sustainable Energy for All (SEForAll) 

Accelerating action on black carbon to avoid climate tipping points, build resilience, and deliver clean air

  • Local time: 15:30 – 16:30 | Event Video
  • Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
  • Black carbon sits uniquely at the center of climate and health crises. Reducing black carbon emissions is critically important for fast climate mitigation and building resilience to the effects of climate change. Black carbon and co-emitted combustion emissions are also a significant component of air pollution, which causes millions of deaths worldwide each year disproportionately impacting low- and middle-income countries. Solutions based on existing technology can be implemented to cut black carbon emissions with near-immediate benefits. Yet there is little action on black carbon as it remains largely absent from the mainstream climate and health agendas. This represents a huge, missed opportunity for mitigating near-term warming and providing clean air.Join CSTEP, Clean Air Task Force, and Clean Air Fund (CAF) to hear from a cross section of stakeholders on the multifaceted benefits of action on black carbon. The panel discussion will showcase the key findings and insights of a new policy brief launched at COP28. The panel discussion will highlight how fast action on reducing emissions from black carbon-rich sources can avoid climate tipping points in the cryosphere, improve public health and advance environmental justice through better air quality, and help us adapt to a changing climate.
  • Speakers: Nina Renshaw, Head of Health, Clean Air Fund; Dr. Indu K Murthy, Sector Head, Climate, Environment, and Sustainability, Center for Study of Science, Technology, and Policy (CSTEP); Paula García Holley, Latin America Policy Manager, Methane Pollution Prevention, Clean Air Task Force; Michael Johnson, Technical Director, Berkeley Air Monitoring Group

Hydrogen production from nuclear energy: A pathway to scaling the hydrogen market

  • Local time: 16:00 – 17:00
  • Location: IAEA Atoms4Climate Pavilion
  • Speakers: Elina Teplinsky, Partner and Energy Industry Group Leader, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; ⁠Shannon Bragg-Sitton, Director for the Integrated Energy & Storage Systems Division, Idaho National Laboratory; Aymen Grira, Ph.D., Innovation & Incubation Manager, Westinghouse Electric Company; Chair, H2 Task Force, Nucleareurope; Yves Desbaizelle, Director General, Nuclear Europe; Carlos I. Leipner, Director of Global Nuclear Energy Strategy, Clean Air Task Force (moderator).

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Asking hard questions.
Finding innovative solutions.

CATF will host more than 20 events and panels in the Zero-Carbon Future pavilion, with two weeks of thought leadership and timely programming focused on reckoning with the complexities of the climate challenge and advancing an innovative, flexible, and pragmatic vision for an emissions-free, high-energy world.

Through thought-provoking panel discussions, interactive roundtables, incisive fireside chats, and vibrant networking receptions, experts from across sectors and geographies will assess the economic and geopolitical realities of global decarbonization and consider the transformations needed to advance a zero-carbon future.

Learn more about CATF at COP28.

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