Birmingham Business School and COP28

The United Nations COP meetings since 1995 have been underpinned by climate science, and that is exactly as it should be. Data and analysis generated by climatologists, oceanographers, geophysicists, and meteorologists are essential to understanding where we are today, how we got here, and what our climate futures might be. However, COP meetings are also about negotiation and implementation, and that often means business.

Business schools such as Birmingham also provide fundamental research on carbon accounting, environmental economics, global supply chains, sustainable finance, responsible leadership and marketing, and the organisations that make change happen.

Since its foundation in 1900 Birmingham Business School has provided research and education specifically designed to encourage current and future policy, organisational design, and leaders to make progressive change happen. In the 21st century more and more of what we do has focused on business and organisational responsibility for climate change. The new research we publish, all of which feeds directly into the education and learning we provide to undergraduates, postgraduates, and in continuing professional development, shows how much of a difference managers, leaders, and all employees can make.

Iniversity of Birmingham crest, UK and Dubai COP28 UAE logo, alongside Universities Climate Network logo, with 'official partner' written beneath

COP28 in the United Arab Emirates is especially meaningful for us here at Birmingham Business School, as the conference is hosted in this region for the first time. Our staff are major contributors to our campus in Dubai. Birmingham is now well established as a leading higher education and research presence, bringing together the best of old and new, as Dubai itself does.

The challenges of climate change are especially clear in Dubai, and it can sometimes feel as if there is little to be optimistic about. However, as the most recent research in this field tells us, the tipping points of change can take us in two directions – towards catastrophic breakdown, or the reverse. Accounting, economics, finance, responsible leadership and marketing, and international business are all central to working for a responsible future. We look forward to making our contributions to COP28 and beyond.  

Our experts on Responsible Business and COP28

Dr Jennifer TyreeHageman speaks about embedding responsible management in business school education, ensuring our future business leaders account for climate change and our Responsible Business Hub.
Dr Madlen Sobkowiak and Dr Mayya Konovalova speak about the Carbon Accounting for Net Zero initiative, a unique offering from the Department of Accounting for Birmingham Business School students.
Dr Scott Taylor speaks broadly about COP meetings, Dubai's bringing together of old and new, and the latest research from Birmingham Business School.


Birmingham Business School and COP28

COP28 and the University of Birmingham

To mark COP28, UoB campuses in Dubai and Birmingham will host a programme of events, discussions and projects - highlighting the research we are leading to help tackle the climate crisis.

Our Responsible Business School


What our students say

Joshua Lindo
Economics With Computer Science
University of Birmingham

Global finance and governance are the themes in COP 28 that resonate with me the most. As someone that studies an Economics degree, I find University of Birmingham’s policy recommendations very intriguing.

Learning about firms’ negative externalities in my degree and how, in pursuit of private benefit, it can affect society for the worse is something that policy makers should strive to correct. Business consumption of natural resources is a problem that is not new, and it will forever be a problem for future generations if efficient policies are not made in the present. I was glad to see recommendations for sustainable investment practises which incorporates ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) into key decision making to inspire Corporate Social Responsibility. Additionally, the strengthening of regulatory framework, built on Santiago Principles, for greater transparency from Sovereign Wealth Funds, is very proactive. This will allow better investment objectives and sustainable government structure, which will mitigate negative externalities. It is imperative that we make sure that ESG principles are at the core of every company within the national and global economy and that incentives should be in place for companies to make decisions that benefit everyone.

I believe that governments around the world need to lead firms and individuals into understanding that their present biases can be very harmful for future generations, and that the power to make change for the better lies within each decision we make.

Thank you to Professor Hisham Farag and Dr Yuli Shan for building these policy propositions and highlighting the keys issues for COP 28. I believe their recommendations will be the most impactful for global finance initiatives for efficient allocation of resources.

Joshua Lindo headshot

Joanne Amoah
Business Management with Marketing (and a year in industry)
University of Birmingham

Hello, my name is Joanne Amoah, a Business Management and Marketing student at the University of Birmingham currently doing a placement year at Unilever. 

What I hope will be discussed thoroughly in the COP28 is Global Adaptation. I believe this theme is very important as we are already seeing the impacts, such as frequent floods and extreme weather conditions. If policies and actions are not put in place this will continue to have damaging impacts on society and the important agriculture industry.

I hope that by the end of COP28, detailed next steps will be put in place to firstly raise awareness about the severity and the long-term impacts of this issue, to help wider society better understand. Secondly, detailed action plans and policies for local councils and communities to be more prepared for floods and implement preventive measures to help reduce the impact. And finally, better support for developing countries as they are currently impacted more by climate change at a faster rate.

I believe that COP is useful as it's the most important climate conference as there are representatives from 197 countries. Additionally, it gives countries who are affected most and increasingly by climate change the opportunity to have a voice, for instance, the alliance of small Island States. However, that being said, I do hope that the actions decided will be implemented and that we will be able to see differences, in our communities. This is because, even though these conferences have been happening yearly for a couple of decades, it can be argued that there has been slow progress in delivering its goals.

However, I think Universities can and should play a role in these conferences because they can make an impact through academic research, which can aid in impactful policies and solutions and through educating the next generation to be more environmentally conscious.

Ann-Francisca Addai
Business Management with Marketing (and a year in industry)
University of Birmingham

The COP28 theme which is most significant to me personally is “Inclusion”. This theme is of importance to me as I believe that inclusive environments create productive conversations by presenting multiple perspectives on issues. A lack of systematic inclusion when discussing the transition to a low carbon economy leads to the sidelining of the experiences of some groups which could be useful in devising diverse solutions.

Being a black female myself, this theme speaks to my experiences as being given the chance to engage in conversations relating to something which impacts us all presents the opportunity to learn from diverse people and draw on my own personal experiences to drive solutions.

The raw materials produced in excess globally could drive change environmentally whilst aiding nations economically. Africa for instance is extremely rich in resources, but for decades, the continent has been plundered and exploited. Therefore, whilst it would be crucial to engage with such groups in these conversations, it is essential to ensure equity and true benefit for all parties involved; you can’t advocate for sustainability but not advocate for human rights and progression for all.

Additionally, the youth are tomorrow’s leaders and will be most affected by the changes, so they shouldn’t be pushed to the sidelines. Their fresh minds and creativity aid in bringing substantial change through innovation. Therefore, I hope that the sustainable future plans take into account the experiences of diverse groups to find the most efficient solutions, whilst ensuring benefits for all. 


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