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News Nov 27, 2023

What will COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates have in store?

With the United Nations’ climate change conference COP28 around the corner, we asked some of #OurJacobs sustainability specialists what they’re looking forward to about COP28 — and what they hope it will achieve

Zein Mocke – Director, Climate Response Advisory and Environment

Zein Mocke

A decade ago, the Gulf region considered environmental protection a hurdle to economic growth. Today, sustainable development, environmental health and the green economy are perceived as differentiators for regional cities that are competing to attract the best talent. Decision makers across all sectors and industries have collectively focused their efforts under the net-zero banner to optimize organizational performance and accelerate urban livability. The efforts leading to and during the summit will leave a positive legacy for the region and we hope that it will be seen as a leading force for the green agenda for many years to come.

Sam Ebner – Associate Director, Intelligent Transformation

Samantha Ebner

COP28 marks a pivotal moment to witness change firsthand. From a young age, issues like food security, water conservation, ocean protection and environmental education have been subjects close to my heart. These concerns have shaped my career, and now, as a mother and a citizen of this planet, they resonate even more deeply. The environment is our shared home, not a distant entity — it’s where we live, grow and dream. COP28 offers us a platform to make a real difference, harmonizing our individual journeys with collective actions in businesses and industries. This summit is a crucial point for us to be architects of change, building a sustainable future where positive transformation isn’t just a goal but a visible reality.

Monte Wilson – Vice President and Global Market Executive for City Solutions

Monte Wilson

COP28 is the premier gathering of global leaders, thinkers and strategists tackling our most challenging problems. As part of our commitment to creating thriving cities and a more connected and sustainable world, it’s important for Jacobs to be in the middle of that conversation. Among the many important topics that will be discussed and explored, I hope the idea of integrated sustainability, nature-based solutions and the importance of social value will gain meaningful traction. I’m optimistic we’ll build awareness and gain momentum on practical and impactful solutions.

Steve Zoegall – Vice President and Global Market Director for Cities and Places

Steve Zoegall

COP28 is the global nerve center for knowing whether we’re moving the needle on decarbonization, what’s working or not, and for commitments to action. We’re in an age of post-pandemic accelerated buildings and infrastructure renewal. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in the U.S., the gigaprojects in Saudi Arabia, the belt and road program in China — these are among the biggest, most ambitious and expensive infrastructure creation and renewal efforts ever attempted and they also need to be the world’s most sustainable. COP28 will allow the many participating organizations and individuals to bring diverse voices, valuable direct experiences and innovation mindsets to the world’s most important annual discussion and venue for action on averting catastrophic climate change.

Reem Korban – Principal Consultant, Sustainability and Climate Action

Reem Korban

COP28 continues to serve as a global platform for cooperation and dialogue on climate change. This year, it’s especially important as it hosts the Global Stocktake, a fundamental component of the Paris Agreement to assess collective progress. Countries are expected to enhance their emissions reduction targets, which aligns perfectly with my role in climate response advisory. Jacobs aims to scale up support for private and public sector clients in delivering climate response solutions, and the expected updated ambitions at COP30 will directly respond to this. This is a critical moment in our collective efforts to combat climate change.

Adam Hosking – Global Solutions Director for Water Resources

Adam Hosking

COP is a vital opportunity to raise global awareness of the urgency of climate action. The coverage the conference receives places an essential spotlight on many topics. Of course, it’s a venue at which we hope to see meaningful progress and commitment to action but ultimately climate response will take all of us — not just those engaged in negotiations. My hope is that resilience and adaptation to the present and future impacts of climate change gets the focus it needs. With 2023 set to be the hottest year on record, it’s undeniable that our climate is already changed. The devastation around the globe caused by climate-exacerbated events such as wildfires, floods, heatwaves and tropical storms, make it clear that adapting to a new normal is essential.

My hope for COP is the development of frameworks which will ensure best practice is shared and the most vulnerable countries and communities can pro-actively take action, rather than waiting for disaster to happen before action is taken.

Zaher Abu-Hijleh – Vice President and General Manager, Middle East

Zaher Abu Hijleh

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a long history of transformational change. This mindset is essential as we respond to the climate challenge. Each of us has a role to amplify awareness, drive meaningful action and affect change at all levels. It’s through our collective efforts that we will contribute to achieving the UAE’s net-zero ambitions by 2050. Our participation in COP28 reflects our enduring commitment to drive positive impact today and for generations to come.

Dr. Nino Kharaishvili – Global Health Director, Health Systems Governance

Nino Kharaishvili headshot

As a medical doctor, promoting human health is my greatest passion. The scientific consensus is that climate change’s negative impact on human health is occurring now and will exponentially increase year after year if we do not take immediate action. This is the first year that COP will have a dedicated Global Health Day. Many panels and exhibits are occurring in the blue and green zones to promote action-oriented conversations between the climate and health communities. Conversations will focus on climate financing, digital enablement and health equity. While historically the climate and health communities have spoken different languages I expect these two communities to come together to create and agree on a unified message to start driving awareness and action on the global stage. It's only through this combined narrative that real change can happen.