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Understanding Outcomes from the Latest UN Climate Conference
4:00PM - 5:00PM ET


Against the backdrop of an escalating climate crisis and another hottest year on record, the annual United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) convened in the United Arab Emirates to chart a path forward. Policymakers made key strides at the conference, agreeing to “transition away from fossil fuels;” operationalizing the loss and damage fund; and laying out targets to build resiliency under a Global Goal on Adaptation. The COP Presidency also co-hosted the first-ever Local Climate Action Summit for city leaders and dedicated a day to discussing the climate-health nexus.   

While these outcomes and events marked critical steps forward, were these strides big enough to keep global warming below 2°C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change, as called for by the Paris Agreement? Based on this latest climate stock take, can the world correct its course? If so, what needs to happen next?

Please join Perry World House for this discussion featuring Perry World House Fellows and Advisors: Lolita Jackson; Stephen Hammer; and Wolfgang Blau, moderated by Michael Weisberg.  


Wolfgang Blau is the managing partner of the Brunswick Group's global climate hub and an expert in climate communications. He is the co-founder of the Oxford Climate Journalism Network at Oxford University, which trains journalists from more than 400 international news organizations each year. Previously, he was president international and global chief operating officer of Condé Nast. Prior to that, Blau served as the executive director of digital strategy at the Guardian and as editor-in-chief of Zeit Online, a position that won him Germany’s “Chief Editor of the Year” award. He started his career at Germany's national broadcaster ARD and later worked in California as a Silicon Valley reporter for German media. Blau is an advisor to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is also a trustee of and the Bonn Institute for Journalism and Constructive Dialogue.

Stephen Hammer has over thirty years of experience working on climate change and sustainability issues at the global, national, and local levels. An expert on urban scale climate issues, Hammer turned his attention to global climate policy and finance when he joined the World Bank in 2013. At the Bank, he advises senior management on global climate policy matters, has led on major global climate partnerships, including those with the G7 and G20, and represents the Bank in international fora. Most recently, he served as a technical advisor to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Transitional Committee, charged with setting up a new global fund on loss and damage. Hammer was previously a full-time lecturer on energy policy and planning at MIT and Columbia University. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Harvard University, and the University of California, Davis.

Lolita K. Jackson MBE is the executive director of sustainable cities at Sustainable Development Capital LLP, a multibillion-pound FTSE 250 climate investment firm. Jackson is a frequent speaker at global gatherings and universities on the topics of climate diplomacy and public and private sector engagement on climate. She previously worked for the NYC Mayor’s Office for fifteen years in a variety of roles, lastly as the Special Advisor for Climate Policy & Programs, where she was the climate diplomat for NYC. Jackson is a member of the British-American Project’s US advisory board, a member of GlobalScot; a trustee of the Jazz Museum in Harlem; a board member of the St Andrew’s Society of New York; and president of the Penn Alumni Class of 1989. She was named to the City & State's “Energy & Environment Power 100” list for 2022 and was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2021. Jackson is a professional singer, having performed on four continents and at Carnegie Hall. She is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, majoring in applied science with a concentration in chemical engineering.


Michael Weisberg is interim director of Perry World House, as well as Bess W. Heyman President’s Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. A renowned philosopher of science and senior negotiator at United Nations Climate Conferences, he is editor-in-chief of Biology and Philosophy, director of the Penn Laboratory for Understanding Science, and director of the Galápagos Education and Research Alliance. He is the author of Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World and co-author of the landmark photographic study Galápagos: Life in Motion. Professor Weisberg also serves as senior adviser to the Maldivian Minister of Environment and advisor to the Maldivian Ambassador to the United Nations. He received a PhD and MA in Philosophy from Stanford University and a BS in Chemistry and BA in Philosophy with Highest Distinction from the University of California at San Diego.