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Queen Mary at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP27) in Egypt

Queen Mary University of London’s engagement and expertise will be out in force at Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, as world leaders, non-government organisations and activists gather for the UN Climate Conference known as COP27. 

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We're one of only a small number of UK universities awarded passes to the Blue Zone at COP27. Last year at COP26 in Glasgow, our delegation attended as an institution and a registered observer.

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.

Academic institutions, such as Queen Mary, play a critical and pivotal role in influencing decision-makers to implement effective climate change policies. Our researchers, academics and public engagement projects stand at the core of UK and global climate research.

People’s Palace Projects (PPP), the arts research centre for social and climate justice based at Queen Mary, brought two indigenous artists and led five events in Glasgow for COP26, as well as showcasing an art installation at Glasgow Science Centre and producing the first Brazil Indigenous Film Festival at the ICA in London. At the end of COP26, PPP called an emergency gathering at the Roundhouse theatre in London to give a voice to those who do not have direct access to the negotiating table - indigenous people, activists and artists.

PPP’s work at COP27 will span a range of issues around climate change in indigenous communities, from conversations on making indigenous people central to global decision-making, to engaging young people about climate change issues around the UK.

Dr Heather McMullen from Queen Mary’s Centre for Global Public Health was a keynote speaker at COP26 and will be joining COP27. Her work explores the intersection of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) with climate change and environmental sustainability.  

She also leads on a partnership agreement between Queen Mary and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). At COP26, Dr McMullen underlined the importance of putting sexual health and reproductive rights at the heart of the debate regarding climate policy and health system. She hopes to amplify her previous work at COP27.

Dr Philippa Lloyd, Vice-Principal (Policy and Strategic Partnerships) and Chair Sustainability Committee, said: “We are proud that there will be a total of eight Queen Mary representatives at COP27 to share our ground-breaking research and help contribute to the aims of the conference.”

The following Queen Mary colleagues will be attending COP27:

Week 1 (7-12 Nov)

Dr. Franziska Arnold-Dwyer, Lecturer in Insurance Law and Deputy Director of the Insurance, Shipping & Aviation Law Institute at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies. Her research is about the development of insurance products that help consumers and small businesses 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=NZAIP). Her research will contribute to the decarbonisation of the insurance industry.

Fernando Barrio

Senior Lecturer in Business Law and Director of International Engagement for the School of Business and Management. He has coordinated a series of policy briefs about the UNFCCC and the COPs 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. He has been recognised as Queen Mary’s Designated Focal Point for the UNFCCC by the Principal and is the Head of Queen Mary’s delegation for COP27 (week one). He has been invited to participate as a speaker on a panel addressing ‘The African imperatives of resilient water-energy-food systems under a changing climate.’  

Dr. Teidor Lyngdoh

Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Marketing, School of Business and Management. He belongs to the Khasi indigenous people’s community of north-east India, his research areas focus is on Indigenous people food systems (IPFS). Faced with agri-industrialisation and its decoupling effects, he wants to monitor the complicated consumer-food relationships prompting poor health outcomes among indigenous communities, such as diabetes, obesity, and addictive disorders. He will be collaborating at the Food Systems Pavillion, where a coalition of leading international food organisations will get together to discuss new visions for food systems, by focusing on working with indigenous people.

Thiago Jesus

Head of Indigenous Exchange and Climate Action at PPP. He is also pursuing an AHRC-funded PhD research with the School of Drama, ‘The Art of Creating Climates,’ investigating how arts organisations are engaging with environmental issues and with their artists, partners, audiences and diverse communities. He is working with the Brazil Climate Action Hub and will showcase aspects of a Virtual Reality interface to the sacred cave of Kamukuwaká, a research collaboration between PPP, Factum Foundation and the Wauja Indigenous Association.

Week 2 (14-19 Nov)

Chris Griffiths, Professor of Primary Care. His main area of research is health impacts of air pollution. Reducing air pollution is critically related to fossil fuel consumption and net zero targets. After attending COP, he hopes to set up international collaborations to promote and evaluate interventions to improve air quality and health.

Kostya Trachenko, Deputy Head of School of Physical and Chemical Sciences Centre for Condensed Matter Physics (CCMP), Professor of Physics, Director of Graduate Studies. His research is closely related to COP. He works on safely encapsulating nuclear waste from power stations and using supercritical fluids for capturing and mineralising CO2. He also leads on the partnership agreement between Queen Mary and the International Atomic Energy Agency of the UN. He is plans to attend Science Day, Decarbonisaton Day, and Energy Day.

Heather McMullen, a social scientist in the Global Public Health Unit at the Centre for Public Health and Policy, will be working with UNFPA colleagues to present findings from a review of SRHR content in National Determined Contributions - a key climate policy. She will be working with the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Climate Justice coalition to help ensure the impacts of climate change on sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice are considered in climate policy and action. She is leading Queen Mary’s delegation for week two.   

Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics, has begun to research a major project on the politics of hydrocarbons. In the context of recent developments, such as war with its increase in the use of coal, oil, and gas in Europe, and the continuing East Asian demand for hydrocarbons, she is observing COP27 ethnographically. Building on new relationships she aims to forge at COP27, she hopes to design a research project that can address urgent problems around hydrocarbons mitigation and adaption.

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