COP28: 12 must-see virtual panels for sustainability leaders

From PwC to Bain, JLL to Visa, organisations are delivering virtual sessions from COP28 aimed at facilitating meaningful exchanges on sustainability issues

For those unable to attend COP28 in Dubai, you can still tap into many of the events and panels taking place as a digital guest.

From consultancies to multinationals, institutions to non-profits, organisations across pavilions are holding a diverse range of sessions at the Dubai-hosted climate conference – designed to facilitate meaningful exchanges on climate and sustainability issues.

We've researched a list of virtual events for sustainability leaders, so you don’t have to. Most are live-streamed, and many recorded so they can be watched at any time.


Integrating Sustainability into business strategy


Monday 4 December

Offering both in-person and virtual sessions, Deloitte will cover topics on everything from green hydrogen to decarbonisation to healthcare.

Taking place on Monday 4 December, a panel of experts will convene to discuss key challenges hindering the integration of sustainability within business strategy and decision-making – and look at how to overcome these hurdles. The session will also explore the importance of trustworthy sustainability reporting and the role of global baseline standards in enhancing consistency, comparability and trust.


Supporting Businesses on their Nature Journey


Saturday 9 December

As well as delivering in-person programming, KPMG has a handful of LinkedIn livestream sessions that virtual guests can sign up for, from decarbonising cities to scaling renewables.

One to watch is the Supporting Businesses on their Nature journey session on December 9, an immersive workshop designed to guide businesses through the intricate landscape of environmental stewardship.

In collaboration with the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), this session offers a rare opportunity to tackle the complexities of integrating nature into corporate strategy, with a hands-on approach to overcoming hurdles and harnessing opportunities.


Accelerating ESG Transformation in Emerging Markets

Boston Consulting Group

Wednesday 6 December

With increasing regulatory scrutiny, pressure on companies operating in emerging markets to expedite their ESG transformation efforts has never been greater.

In this LinkedIn Live event, join BCG’s Burak Tansan, Sanko’s Faith Konukoglu and MIT’s Andreas Dorner to discover practical guidance and innovation solutions for ESG leaders to uncover pathways to sustainable success.

In this conversation, leaders will tak a targeted view of specific company journeys while also analysing broader, cross-border trends. See here for other panels from BCG.


Hyperscaling Journeys


Friday 8 December

McKinsey offers a virtual programme throughout the two weeks of COP28, and will deliver a number of inspiring discussions, from unlocking high-integrity carbon markets to funding the global climate transition to the challenges and opportunities along the sustainable materials value chain.

On December 8, McKinsey will deliver a session on hyperscaling green businesses. McKinsey argues that with a potential US$12 trillion in annual sales for high-potential green offerings by 2030, there are enormous opportunities.

In this session, leading CEOs will share their journeys building green businesses, the challenges they faced, and the methods they used. Participating CEOs include Agam Khare of Absolute Foods and Alicia Eastman of Intercontinental Energy

Find McKinsey on-demand sessions here.


How Businesses are Enabling Consumer Sustainable Living


Wednesday 6 December

Douglas Sabo, Chief Sustainability Officer at Visa brings together sustainability chiefs from IKEA, Netflix, Google and Ecolytiq and to explore recent global consumer research on aspirations and barriers, discussing the role of businesses in enabling millions – if not billions – of consumers to embrace sustainable choices in various aspects of daily life.

The panel examines strategies and innovative content and solutions across the business ecosystem to inform and enable sustainable living, addressing areas such as food, mobility, travel, banking, apparel and household goods.

Find the livestream link on the We Mean Business Coalition page.


Harnessing the Power of Supply Chain Decarbonisation through Data, Tech and Finance


Monday 11 December

A non-profit charity, CDP runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impact and will be running various sessions.

This session on Monday 11 has been designed to help companies with addressing the environmental impact of their supply chain.

CDP argues that a more streamlined, pragmatic approach for corporates to access the tools required to begin engaging their supply chain on decarbonisation is needed.

And this event will showcase innovative solutions that CDP is working on alongside key partners to help companies collate and manage their data, identify hotspots in their emissions, understand what their peers are doing to decarbonise effectively, and find ways to access the finance needed to fund the transition to a sustainable net zero economy.


What is the Business Case for Sustainable Buildings?


Tuesday 5 December

There is no question that amid tough economic times, building the case for investing in making real estate more sustainable can be challenging. Which is why JLL, the leading professional services firm specialising in real estate and investment management, will build the case in this session.

Join JLL and other panellists, including Peter Epping, Global Head of ESG at Hines and Darren Sear, Global Head of Sustainability Property at Standard Chartered Bank, to find out more about the compelling reasons why taking action sooner rather than later is the smart move.

Discover how market dynamics are changing as demand for sustainable space grows, how decarbonisation plans can form part of wider sustainability strategies to add value and future-proof buildings.


AI for climate: A Startup Perspective


Wednesday 6 December (Digital Day)

The UNEP Pavilion will feature twelve thematic days with hybrid events (in-person with virtual participants) with live webcast available here

This particular event will explore and showcase how AI and related technologies can be harnessed to tackle climate changes, such as predictive modelling, climate data analysis, and optimising resource management. It will also discuss the potential negative effect of unregulated AI on the climate and reinforce the importance of ethics. Finally, it will explore the transformative potential of AI in addressing climate change challenges.

The panel will bring visionary leaders at the forefront of AI research and application for environmental sustainability.


Building Resilience in a Highly Uncertain Environment

WWF Climate and Business

Wednesday 6 December

In this era of unprecedented uncertainty, resilience is critical to success for boards and executive teams. In fact, it’s the ultimate strategic differentiator. Executives should beware of the pitfalls of traditional approaches that myopically address short-term risks, leaving businesses exposed to longer-term threats.

Join this dynamic panel of executives to explore the urgent need for action and the cutting-edge approaches employed by industry leaders in confronting strategic, operational, and supply chain challenges.

Panelists include Sheila Bonini, Senior VP of Private Sector Engagement at WWF, David Knipe, a partner at Bain, Julian Mylchreest, EVP Bank of America, and Natasha Santos, VP at Bayer Crop Science.



Live from COP28 key insights

Monday 5 December

Join COP veteran and PwC’s Head of Platforms Carl Sizer in discussion with COP28 attendees – Lynne Barber, Sustainability Practice Leader, and Amal Larhlid, an ESG Partner in the PwC Middle East office, as they share insights on the key areas of discussion and what they hope will come out of this year’s COP.


Tech Meets Climate Empathy: Leveraging digital finance and AI to support climate victims


Wednesday, 6 December

Join Mastercard’s Chief Sustainability Officer Ellen Jackowski along with experts at USAID and BFA Global in the Blue Zone for this session.

To close the climate adaptation financing gap between developed and emerging and developing economies, urgent multisector collaboration is needed. This presentation will showcase successful prototypes and innovations that offer practical solutions, specifically CIFAR Alliance's UCARE product.

UCARE is an example of how multisectoral actors from the financial sector, climate think tanks and development entities are collaborating to deliver much-needed direct relief financing for vulnerable communities to increase resilience before climate disasters even occur.


Empowering and protecting consumers in the green transition


Tuesday 12 December

OECD has both a live and virtual pavilion at COP28 and will deliver a programme of more than 30 virtual events covering a broad range of topics, from advancing decarbonisation in shipping and aviation to accelerating the green transition of SMEs – and will convene leading experts, policymakers, and civil society.

On Monday 6, OECD is running a livestream session (and recording) focused on consumers. This session will examine the degree to which consumer policies in jurisdictions address, or may need to be adapted, to foster sustainable consumption. It will also explore how a better understanding of consumer attitudes toward sustainable consumption and key barriers or behavioural biases that prevent consumers from making greener choices, can contribute to better policies.

Panelists include Peter Andrew from Consumers International and Camille Richard, Head of Sustainability at Back Market, among others.

Organisations – COP28 livestreamed events

As well as most country pavilions live-streaming their own panel sessions, many organisations are running a schedule of sessions and are livestreaming them too. Among these:

Business Pavilion events (We Mean Business Coalition)

Buildings Pavilion (Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction)

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) – more than 30 virtual events. Find the virtual pavilion here

ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation)

WWF (World Wildlife Fund)

IEA (International Energy Agency)


World Bank Group – schedule of live events, which are recorded and can be watched, from a fireside chat with Ajay Banga to scaling global clean hydrogen financing

UNEP – The United Nations Environment Programme will deliver a schedule of hybrid events with live webcast available themed around finance, energy, digital, cities, and food systems, among others.

ISO is delivering an ongoing series of sessions during COP around accountability with standards and accreditation.


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