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Futurist Keynote, Dubai: COP28 with the United Nations and FAB


In this keynote session, which was originally presented three times at the UN COP28 in the UAE, Futurist Matthew Griffin explores the climate problems the world faces, the mindset needed to fix them, and the solutions.


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Firstly, thank you to the United Nations and their sponsors First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) for inviting me to talk at this years Conference of the Parties 28 (COP28) meeting where over 104,000 world leaders and policy makers, and over 30,000 observers, and over 3,000 lobbyists came together to try to secure an agreement to realise Net Zero by 2050.


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While many see COP28 as a global event, if not arguably the global event to attend, from my first hand experience there and as a first timer, I felt that describing it as an event was a misnomer. Instead, I felt that it was more like a business meeting that no one was able to leave until they’d all come to a mutual agreement on how to proceed. And this distinction is important because it nicely lays out the real nature of this unique global event.


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With over 200 countries represented, and with the size of government delegations ranging from tens to hundreds of representatives on day one in the Blue Zone everyone seemed thrilled to be there, proud to represent their countries, with plenty of national dresses on display, and the atmosphere was almost carnival like. And that was very special to see indeed.


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During my three keynote sessions, titled “A Mind to Change,” and a panel session, with the latter hosted by FAB, I was asked to present three points of view to the esteemed guests, namely the future impact of the global climate related challenges we face, the mindset we need to overcome them, and the solutions we have on the bench today to solve them. And then, after the sessions it was great to see so many people asking me so many thoughtful questions, with the majority of those questions revolving around the long term detrimental impacts of some of the solutions we have on the table today, such as the long term impact of EV batteries and metals mining to feed the voracious renewables industry on the environment, as well as questions about the importance of thinking through the long term lifecycle impacts of those solutions. And many more.


While my session was livestreamed it wasn’t, ironically, recorded due to the nature of the event which is why when I returned home I took the liberty of re-recording it for you so you can get your own point of view on the situation we find ourselves in and the solutions we have on the table today to save tomorrow.

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