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15 December 2023

Theresa May and Ed Miliband reflect on COP28 at King's

They were joined by experts and political leaders to discuss the negotiations in Dubai

ed miliband and theresa may

King’s College London yesterday hosted Theresa May and Ed Miliband at an event to discuss climate policy and the achievements of COP28 in Dubai.

Organised by the Mission Zero Coalition, the Policy Institute at King's and Diplomat magazine, the COP28 Outcomes Summit convened diplomats with businesses and industry leaders to unpick what was achieved at the COP, how it can be delivered and what the ambition ought to be for future COPs.

The summit – which was supported by Reckitt – was opened by former UK Prime Minister Theresa May and concluded with a reception, at which Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, set out his vision for the UK as a global leader in the race to tackle climate change.

A range of other speakers contributed to panel discussions on the progress made at COP28, including on the global stocktake, loss and damage and climate finance, and on what the future aims should be for international climate policy.

The panels were moderated by Chris Skidmore, Chair of the Mission Zero Coalition and the Independent Review of Net Zero – with whom the summit was hosted – and Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire.

King’s Vice-Chancellor and President Shitij Kapur introduced the proceedings, and Professor Frans Berkhout, Assistant Principal (Climate & Sustainability) and Dr Helen Adams, Senior Lecturer in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, represented King’s at the discussions.

I want to thank King's College for having me here, and for all of the fantastic work that you are doing on public policy – it is really highly valued.

The Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero

Other speakers included Zac Goldsmith, former UK Energy, Climate and Environment Minister; H.E. Ms. Saida Muna Tasneem, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to the United Kingdom; Vijay Rangarajan, Director General, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Overseas Territories, Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; and Emilien Gasc, Counsellor, European Union Delegation to the UK.

We need to do much more as an international community if we are to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement...Earlier this week, there was a real fear that we would not see an agreement at the end of COP28. So the good news is that an agreement was reached and it kept our goal within reach. But the bad news is that the world is not currently on track to meet this target, and without a step change in our efforts, it will be missed.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The event underscores King’s College London’s commitment to using the convening power of the university – and its location at the heart of a global city – to work with governments and policymakers around the world in delivering strong contributions to the challenge of climate change and transitions to sustainability. 

King’s is driving this forward through the recently established Net Zero Centre and Centre for Sustainable Business – two major initiatives which bring together expertise from within and outside of the university to generate insights that can help shape the future of the planet. 

I think a particular privilege we have at King’s College the ability to convene. Therefore, I am particularly thankful for the many people from outside the university – your excellencies, the leading ambassadors of so many other countries – that decided to come today to listen and to share your view and to reflect on COP28.

Professor Shitij Kapur, Vice-Chancellor & President, King's College London