The COP28 Climate Hub at American University

Thu, 07 Dec 2023 17:00:00 GMT

We Don’t Have Time, the Center for Environment, Community, & Equity, and the School of International Service are proud to present a day of the COP28 Climate Hub at American University.

Join us on December 7 as we delve into a series of panels tackling pressing issues such as Climate Activism, A Career in Climate?, Media – Fighting or Fueling the Climate Crisis?, A Just Energy Transition, COP28 – View from the Ambassadors, and more.

Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with policymakers, climate activists, journalists, and academic experts as they discuss the critical path to ensuring a just and equitable climate transition. Discover the key highlights and takeaways from COP28 and explore whether the commitments needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 will be met.


12:00 PM EST / 21:00 GST — Opening Remarks

Join Shannon Hader, Dean, School of International Service, and Thomas Snitch, Chairman, US Advisory Board, We Don’t Have Time, as they set the stage for Day 7 of The COP28 Climate Hub – Live from American University!

12:10 PM EST / 21:10 GST — Ambassadors Up-Close: COP28 Reflections

Join us for an insightful panel discussion featuring distinguished guests—the Ambassador of the Bahamas to the United States and the Ambassador of Thailand to the United States. Together, they bring unique insights and diplomatic perspectives to the forefront of the global conversation on climate change at COP28.


  • Thomas Snitch (Moderator), Chairman, US Advisory Board, We Don’t Have Time
  • Wendall K. Jones, Ambassador of The Bahamas to the United States of America
  • Tanee Sangrat, Ambassador of Thailand to the United States of America

12:40 PM EST / 21:40 GST — The Power of Storytelling

Join our panel of experts as they discuss the pivotal role storytelling plays in amplifying awareness, cultivating empathy, and driving positive environmental action. Discover how compelling narratives have the power to connect diverse perspectives, inspire collective responsibility, and serve as catalysts for meaningful change.

  • Anne Therese Gennari, Speaker, Author and Founder, The Climate Optimist
  • Brittany Bell Surratt, Senior Director of Storytelling & Communications, Hip Hop Caucus
  • Brooke Betts, Vice President, Climate Culture, Rare

1:05 PM EST / 22:05 GST — Climate Litigation

Join esteemed environmental law experts William Snape and Steven Donziger in a thought-provoking conversation on climate litigation. Explore the legal frontiers of climate change, as these seasoned attorneys share insights on groundbreaking cases, the evolving role of the judiciary in addressing environmental challenges, and the intersection of law and activism.


  • Steven Donziger, Human rights lawyer, Donziger & Associates
  • William Snape, Professor, Assistant Dean, and Director of the AU WCL Program on Environmental and Energy Law (PEEL)
  • Jillian Mayer, Student, 3L J.D. Candidate, Washington College of Law (Moderator)

1:30 PM EST / 22:30 GST — Research Spotlight on Climate Activism

Dana R Fisher will talk about the role that climate activism is playing and will continue to play in the struggle to achieve sufficient climate action. Her comments will build on the findings from her new book, Saving Ourselves: from Climate Shocks to Climate Action (Columbia University Press, 2024).

1:35 PM EST / 22:35 GST — Climate Activism

This panel will feature a discussion among leaders of climate activist groups about how they mobilize supporters and that tactics they choose to employ to encourage climate action.


  • Dana R Fisher, Director, Center for Environment, Community and Equity, American University
  • John Paul Mejia, National Spokesperson,Sunrise Movement
  • Elizabeth Finn, Co-facilitator,Third Act Virginia
  • Michael Greenberg, Founder, Climate Defiance

2:10 PM EST / 23:10 GST — Climate Optimism

Listen to Anne Therese Gennari on Climate Optimism!

2:15 PM EST / 23:15 GST — A Career in Climate?

This panel features a discussion about the growing diversity of careers in climate. It brings together notable AU alumni along with faculty working to train the next generation of climate workers.


  • Shannon Hader (Moderator), Dean, School of International Service, American University
  • Julie Anderson, Associate Program Director – Masters of Science in Sustainability Management, American University
  • Tyler Steinhardt, Chief Strategy Officer, Vocal Media
  • Brianna Weck, Grants and Finance Specialist, The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People

2:50 PM EST / 23:50 GST: Research Spotlight on Food Waste

If wasted and unused food were a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the US. Tackling the problem of wasted food serves the dual purpose of making sure all people have the food they need and reducing the amount of carbon we release into the atmosphere. Matt Hartings will talk about the multidisciplinary efforts of the NSF sponsored RECIPES Network in building sustainable solutions to the issue of wasted food.

2:55 PM EST / 23:55 GST — Economic Efforts to Tackling the Climate Crisis

Join us for a stimulating conversation about the intersection of economics and sustainability and the potential for harnessing economic forces to help us tackle the climate crisis! Our panel of thought leaders will discuss green finance, circular economy practices, and sustainable business initiatives. Let’s explore how we can use economic tools as powerful allies in our worldwide effort to address and mitigate the effects of climate change.


  • Anne Therese Gennari (Moderator), Speaker, Author and Founder, The Climate Optimist
  • Pushpam Kumar, Senior Economic Advisor, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Jetta Wong, Senior Advisor on Climate to the Administrator, GSA
  • Gaya Herrington, Vice President Sustainability Research, Schneider Electric

3:25 PM EST / 00:25 GST — Research Spotlight on Climate Narratives and Media

Ros Donald will talk about the ways in which media depictions of climate change can challenge or reinforce climate inaction and inequality. Drawing on her research, she will explore how emphasizing diverse climate narratives and centring the local can foster the creation of more engaging, just, and effective climate media.

3:30 PM EST / 00:30 GST — Media – Fighting or Fueling the Climate Crisis?

Join us for an exciting exploration of media’s power to both spur and hinder climate progress. Learn from journalists and experts about the impact of media in forming public opinion and influencing climate action.


  • Rebecca Leber, Senior Reporter, Vox
  • Emily Atkin, Editor-in-Chief, HEATED
  • Ros Donald, Assistant Professor, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, Media, and Communication, American University

4:00 PM EST / 01:00 GST — A Just Energy Transition

This panel will delve into the critical intersection of energy transition and social equity. Join us as we explore how to foster a transition to sustainable energy that not only combats climate change but also upholds principles of justice, inclusivity, and fairness.


  • Anne Therese Gennari (moderator), Speaker, Author and Founder, The Climate Optimist
  • Ebony Twilley Martin, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
  • Phil Kangas, Director of Outreach and Business Development, U.S. Department of Energy, Loan Programs Office
  • Ryan Norman, Senior Policy Advisor, Third Way

4:35 PM EST / 01:35 GST — Closing Remarks

Vicky Wilkins, Acting Provost and Chief Academic Officer, American University, gives us her reflections from Day 7 of the COP28 Climate Hub.

  • American University Center for Environmental Policy We Don't Have Time District of Columbia
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