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Piers Forster

Job title:

Professor of Climate Physics; Director of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures

Area of work:

I explore causes of climate change and how temperature and rainfall is affected by emissions. It determines the changes we will see in the next few decades and also helps us interpret what national targets and level of ambition mean for the Earth’s climate in the future and future risk.

What will you be doing at COP28?

I am involved with COP28 in several ways, wearing several different hats:

  • Our EU research project is coordinating an event in the IPCC Pavilion that will unpack what the broken temperature records through 2023 mean for the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal and highlights the need to track global temperature change, as well as regional extremes, over this critical decade.
  • For the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, I will be highlighting insights from the latest report and interpreting its results for the negotiations, again focused on the climate science.
  • For the UK Climate Change Committee, I will be meeting with other national climate council representatives to share and learn best practice.

What are the big issues that COP28 needs to address? What are your hopes for the negotiations?

Global cooperation and coordination bringing hopeful positive messages, quickly followed by measurable and sizable actions.

This is an important COP. Against a backdrop of the hottest year in human history, COP is planning to deliver the first global stocktake. We need to see countries take the stocktake seriously, and use it to reestablish collective cooperation and ambition.

What’s your message for world leaders at COP28?

Every tonne matters. Don’t criticise failures, quickly learn from them and go again.