Law School activities at COP 28

Our Professor Francesco Sindico recently attended COP 28 as an observer on behalf of the University of Strathclyde. At COP, he had the possibility to present three projects that he is working on in different capacities:

He was also able to contribute to official UNFCCC side events, events in the incredibly rich IUCN programme, others in the Blue and Green Zone, as well as downtown in the Island of Hope space of the Climate Innovation Hub. 

Francesco Sindico together with his fellow co-chair of the IUCN WCEL Climate Change Law Specialist Group Fabiano de Andrade Correa Sousa

Official UNFCCC side events

11 Dec – The transformative power of law in promoting a just transition to a climate positive world (Francesco’s contribution can be found from 54:24 to 59:23) 

IUCN COP 28 programme

6 Dec – The transformative power of Law to tackle the climate crisis and advance the Paris Agreement: Legal implementation and capacity building at the domestic and international level  (from 08:16:00 to 09:18:32) 

8 Dec – Exploring Law as Enabler of Nature Based Solutions for Climate Action (from 5:26:45 to 6:08:54 – Francesco’s contribution can be found from 5:53:21 to 5:58:53) 

10 Dec – Islands driving forward climate change law (from 07:56:05 to 08:59:46)

Other blue zone events

International Solar Alliance

11 Dec – Floatovoltaics: Addressing Barriers to Floating Solar Through Regulations  (Francesco’s contribution can be found from 4:12 to 13:15) 

Dominican Republic

11 Dec- Climate Justice and its Race towards 1.5 degrees: Role of Courts in Protecting Future Generations 

Green zone events

6 Dec – Water smart cities: from design to development 

Island of Hope space

7 Dec – Islands, Nature and Renewable Energy  

7 Dec – Islands, data and freshwater in a climate of change  

7 Dec – Decarbonising islands: the transformational power of pilots  

In his first day at COP 28, he worked closely with the Scottish Government COP 28 team on the ground in relation to a number of events attended by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition Ms Mairi McAllan, including an event with Scottish businesses at the University of Strathclyde Business School campus in Dubai. As part of the international dimension of the Carbon Neutral Islands project he contributed to laying the foundations of stronger relationships between Scotland and Vanuatu in the field of climate action, as demonstrated by this piece published in the Scotsman

Francesco with Mary Robinson, President of the Elders and former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, before the session “Islands Driving Forward Climate Change Law” that took place on December 10 at the IUCN COP 28 pavilion

Finally, COPs tend to be the time of year when people working in the field of international climate change law are able to meet in person and reconnect. Whilst there are too many to mention here, Francesco was able to see colleagues and friends with whom he has been collaborating for many years, including Prof Michael Mehling (Professor of Practice at the University of Strathclyde Law School), Prof Harro Van Asselt (the first Professor of Climate Law at the University of Cambridge) and Prof Christina Voigt (Chair of the IUCN World Commission of Environmental Law and Co-Chair of the Paris Agreement Implementation and Compliance Committee). 

Francesco with former Strathclyde Law School PhD student Mitchell Lennan and former LLM students Zoe Cuthbert and Aditi Shetye

He was also able to meet a growing number of alumni from the University of Strathclyde Law School who are now taking leading roles in climate law. This is testament to the LLM and PhD programmes at the Law School and at the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance, as well as the work carried out by the Climate Change Legal Initiative (C2LI). In the picture above you see Mitchell Lennan (Lecturer in Environmental Law at the University of Aberdeen), Zoe Cuthbert (sustainability leader at Expo City Dubai), Aditi Sheyte (researcher at the British Institute for International and Comparative Law). Other alumni at COP included Elisa Granzotto (Latina America lead for the ICJ Advisory Opinion campaign), Alistair (CEO Of the Blockchain Legal Institute) and Marija Pujo Tadic (lead negotiator for the Croatian government).

Professor Sindico’s time at COP 28 was generously supported by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) (of which he is the co-chair of the Climate Change Law Specialist Group (CCLSG)). He offers some thoughts on the fossil fuels language in the final Global Stocktake Decision in a recent Strathclyde Law Blog post.