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School of Law

The School of Law at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) in Egypt

Experts from the School of Law at Queen Mary attended UN Climate Conference known as COP27 in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, along with world leaders, non-government organisations and activists. 

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At the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) held from 6 to 18 November, around 90 world leaders, ministers, and negotiators, along with climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs will seek to accelerate global climate action through emissions reduction, scaled-up adaptation efforts and enhanced flows of appropriate finance. Queen Mary University of London is one of only a small number of UK universities awarded passes to the Blue Zone at COP27.

Dr Franziska Arnold-Dwyer, Senior Lecturer in Insurance Law and Director of the Insurance, Shipping & Aviation Law at Queen Mary, attended the first week of the conference. She observed the opening plenary session of the Heads of States, and several UN consultation sessions on the Loss and Damage Mechanism under Art. 8 of the Paris Agreement. She had the opportunity to discuss insurance solutions to climate change and her research in this area with representatives from UNDP, government officials, the insurance industry and the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative.

Also, at COP27, she also attended a side event organised by the International Bar Association, the The Law Society of England & Wales and the Brazilian Bar Association on the role of the legal profession in the climate crisis with Queen May School of Law alumna Caroline Mair-Toby who spoke about climate justice for small islands.

Dr Arnold-Dwyer’s research is about the development of insurance products that help consumers and small businesses to transition to a net zero economy by making more informed choices and taking greater ownership of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions (Net Zero Aligned Insurance Products). Her research will contribute to the decarbonisation of the insurance industry.

Dr Fernando Barrio, Senior Lecturer in Business Law and Director of International Engagement for the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary, also attended the first week of COP27 and led the Queen Mary delegation. He participated as a speaker on a panel addressing ‘The African imperatives of resilient water-energy-food systems under a changing climate’ (available on YouTube). He also spoke to various country officials about their NDCs implementation, and held meetings with Commonwealth officials on Climate Finance access and the need to further include adaptation policies in the financial support provided to member countries.

Dr Barrio has coordinated a series of policy briefs about the UNFCCC and the COP’s processes, an analysis of the climate change adaptation policies of selected sub-Saharan African countries and a report on the 2021 Nigeria Climate Change Act. The Principal has recognised him as Queen Mary’s Designated Focal Point for the UNFCCC.

Read more about Queen Mary’s presence at COP27.

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