Past events

21 Days to COP28 | What your business needs to know ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference

09 Nov

01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

Event Details

The 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) offers significant marker of progress in the fight against climate change, providing an opportunity for the private sector to address the need for stronger commitments and meaningful action.

The UN Global Compact Network Australia will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 9 November 1.00pm – 2.00pm (AEDT) to explore the key themes and outcomes expected to be discussed at COP28.

This year’s webinar will bring together representatives from Australian business, government, and academia to discuss how the conference’s key priorities can be understood as well as translated into an Australian business context.

Topics for discussion include: transition planning, integrating biodiversity, climate resilience, oceans & water security, finance commitments, 1.5c Paris Agreement benchmarks and just transition engagement.


Speakers include:

Dr Sally Box, Australian Head of Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW)

Dr Sally Box leads the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water’s branch responsible for international climate change negotiations and engagement and is Australia’s Head of Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. Prior to this role, Sally served as the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Commissioner, where she led the development and implementation of the Threatened Species Strategy and the environmental response to the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires. Sally has over 18 years’ experience working in the Australian Public Service in the fields of climate change and environment policy development, program delivery, regulation, and communications. She has a PhD in Plant Sciences from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Adelaide.

Damian Cordona Onses, Director, UN Information Centre (UNIC) in Australia

Damian Cardona Onses is the Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Canberra, Australia — a field office of the United Nations Department of Global Communications that provides services to Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand/Aotearoa, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Mr. Cardona has more than two decades of experience in strategic communications, crisis communications, outreach and campaigns within the United Nations system. His previous appointments include serving as Director in both Senegal and Bogota, serving in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Cardona was also Chief of Media Relations, Spokesperson for the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti and Special Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. He has further experience with the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Mr. Cardona is fluent in English, Frensh, Spanish and Catalan — with working knowledge of Haitain Crole, Italian and Portuguese.

Professor Robyn Eckersley FASSA, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, University of Melbourne

Robyn Eckersley is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in Political Science at the University of Melbourne and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. She has published widely in the fields of environmental politics and International Relations, with a special focus on the ethics, politics and governance of climate change. Her most recent publications include ‘Convergent Evolution: Framework Climate Legislation Australia’, Climate Policy (2021, with P. Christoff), and ‘(Dis)order and (in)justice in a Heating World’, International Affairs (2023). Her current research project is on ‘Right-wing populism and the political feasibility of climate policy’, a team-based, cross-national study funded by the Research Council of Norway (2021-2025).

Richard Fechner, Executive General Manager Global Advisory, GHD

As Executive General Manager of GHD Advisory, Richard leads the global business providing strategy, commercial, economic, business case, logistics, policy, regulatory, asset management and transaction services. He has over 30 years’ experience in leadership of infrastructure development, investment and delivery across ports, agriculture, energy, government, defence, and infrastructure sectors in Australasia, USA, Europe and the Middle East and has held senior roles in the private and public sector. He has contributed to significant infrastructure and social development and investment in Australia. This has included development of the Newcastle port terminals in the 1990’s, to the delivery of Sydney Olympic Park and transport networks for the 2000 Olympics, and the development and later privatisation of the Sydney Desalination Plant, as well as capital recycling programs in WA, NT and in NSW. Richard has advised on over AUD 150B in infrastructure transactions in recent years.

Karan Sawhney, Senior Project Manager – Ocean, Ocean Stewardship Coalition, UN Global Compact

Karan leads global projects for the Ocean Stewardship Coalition at the UN Global Compact Network. He has over a decade of experience in business development in environment, nature and oceans. He has worked for WWF, UN Global Compact Norway and Marint Offshore Services. Karan currently lives in Norway and holds a MSc in Economics in Business Administration, Energy, Natural Resources from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and the Environment and a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.

Dr Evan B Center, Environment & Climate Change Manager, UN Global Compact Network Australia 

Dr Evan Beaumont Center leads the UNGCNA Environment and Climate Change team in support of driving business engagement in alignment with UN SDGs and The Ten Principles. Evan’s career has been driven by a passion for environment, climate change and other sustainability initiatives. He holds a PhD in Communication (University of Kansas), a GC in Peace and Conflict Studies (University of Kansas) and has published and presented at the nexus of environmental advocacy, enterprise and economics.


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