Who’s who in Harvard’s COP28 delegation

Harvard faculty attending COP28 represent six schools, emphasizing diverse range of disciplines working to combat the climate crisis.
Nov 20, 2023

More than a dozen Harvard University faculty will attend the 28th annual Conference of the Parties (COP 28) of the UN Climate Change Conference, which opens in Dubai on November 30. They represent six Harvard Schools and the wide range of disciplines required to tackle the climate crisis, from public health to economics.

As part of this delegation, the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability will host a panel at 15:00 on December 6: “Reducing Global Methane Emissions: Imperatives, Opportunities, and Challenges.”

For media inquiries, contact David Trilling: david_trilling@harvard.edu

Joe Aldy, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, investigates whether corporate net-zero goals result in real emissions reductions. He will attend COP to participate in several side events and meetings with stakeholders and government officials. He will discuss the progress and implications of voluntary corporate emission reduction pledges, including new research on a private sector global stocktake. In addition, he will discuss the trade and competitiveness implications of national governments pursuing alternative approaches to their domestic climate change policies. Aldy will be in Dubai December 1-5.

Gaurab Basu is a practicing Primary Care Physician and the Director of Education and Policy at Harvard Chan C-CHANGE. His work focuses on the intersection of climate change, health equity, medical education, advocacy, and public policy. He is available to speak on health equity, bringing climate and health conversations to the bedside, and integrating climate change into medical education curricula. Basu will be in Dubai from December 2-8.

Francesca Dominici is Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative. She is the principal investigator of a consortium of faculty and students working at the intersection of data science, climate and health. Dominici will attend events on climate and health, mitigation and adaptation, and technology, seeking to learn about the most pressing questions in climate and health, make connections with non-governmental organizations and the private sector. Dominici will be in Dubai December 1-7.

Caleb Dresser is a practicing emergency physician and Director of Healthcare Solutions at the Harvard Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment. He will focus on the health impacts of climate change, both through reductions in fossil fuel use and adaptation strategies. In addition to Health Day activities, he will speak at the Entertainment and Culture Pavilion in the Blue Zone on December 5, sharing insights on the use of video media to communicate climate change and health issues to a variety of audiences. Dresser is available to share his experience working with Harvard and AmeriCares to develop and test patient-centered climate change adaptation solutions for frontline clinics. Dresser will in Dubai from December 2-8.

Catharina Giudice is a practicing emergency physician and a Climate and Human Health Fellow at Harvard Chan C-CHANGE. Giudice’s work explores how climate events affect delivery of healthcare and how to enhance preparedness and resilience. She is available to speak on integrating climate change into medical education curricula and mitigating the health impacts of climate change on communities that are disproportionately affected. She will be in Dubai from Dec 1-9.

Daniel Jacob, an atmospheric chemist, is a global expert on methane emissions and the use of satellite observations to quantify these emissions. “Methane can’t hide. I can see it anywhere on earth, even in countries that may not want us to know how much methane they’re emitting,” Jacob recently said of his satellite work. He will speak on Harvard’s December 6 side panel.

Megan Murray is an epidemiologist working on disease outbreaks from climate-related disasters and building local resilience in places where healthcare systems cannot cope. Murray recently spoke about her efforts to prepare communities in low- and middle-income countries for climate emergencies.

Jane Nelson is Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School. She serves on the World Economic Forum’s Community of Climate Governance Experts and its Global Future Council on Good Governance and has authored six books on the role of the private sector and multistakeholder alliances in sustainable development. She will be participating in the Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum and sessions on food systems, nature and a just transition. 

Meghan O’Sullivan is the Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Leveraging her experience in government, diplomacy, academia, and business, at COP she will contribute insights into energy markets, the transition to a net-zero global economy, and the geopolitics of that transition.

Mary B. Rice is Associate Professor of Medicine and a pulmonary and critical care physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston where she leads the Institute for Lung Health and studies the respiratory health effects of air pollution and climate change among children and adults. She will deliver a talk entitled “Confronting Climate Change in Patient Care” at a pre-COP28 event at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute. Rice will be in Dubai November 29-December 3.

Daniel Schrag studies climate over the broadest range of Earth’s history and is interested in how information on climate change from the geologic past can lead to better understanding of anthropogenic climate change in the future. In addition to his work on geochemistry and climatology, Schrag studies energy technology and policy, including carbon capture and storage and low-carbon synthetic fuels.

Robert Stavins, principal investigator on the Salata Institute’s Reducing Global Methane Emissions research cluster and head of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, has attended COP annually for the past 16 years. As moderator of the December 6 event at COP 28, he will discuss how methane-emissions abatement can, in the near term, significantly reduce the magnitude of climate change. Stavins frequently speaks at COP and will meet with other researchers, officials, and stakeholders. In Dubai he will also speak at events hosted by other organizations; a listing is here. He will be at COP28 December 4-7. 

James Stock is Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability and Director of the Salata Institute at Harvard University. His current research includes energy and environmental economics with a focus on fuels and on U.S. climate change policy. In 2013-2014 he served as a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, where his portfolio included macroeconomics and energy and environmental policy.

Peter Tufano, Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School and Senior Advisor to the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, researches climate alliances, including their theories of change and anti-trust challenges. At COP28, he will call for greater disclosure practices by climate alliances to enhance their legitimacy. He is working on case studies of climate alliances, their structures, and their effectiveness. In addition, he is a practitioner in this space, having launched the educational alliance Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BS4CL) at COP26, and will join the launch of a Middle East cluster of BS4CL at COP28. Tufano will be in Dubai December 4-10.

Elizabeth Willetts, the Planetary Health Policy Director at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is leading Harvard’s health delegation to COP28, serving to raise awareness of the relationship of health to the global environmental and climate agenda. At COP28 Willetts is leading two bluezone side events to target one of the biggest barriers to implementation of climate action – policy coordination across ministries and sectors. The panels, Linking Agendas of the UNFCCC and the World Health Assembly, will focus on regional coordination (December 6) and global coordination (December 12). The aim of both is to generate greater awareness across disciplines of different policy forums addressing similar issues, and how research, policy, and advocacy must align. Willetts has been participating in UNFCCC events since 2007. She will be available in Dubai from December 1-8.

Tess Wiskel is a practicing emergency physician and a Climate and Human Health Fellow at Harvard Chan C-CHANGE. Her research focuses on the health impacts of climate change, centering on extreme weather events and at-risk patient populations. She is available to speak on the long-term effects of climate-related disasters, including migration. Wiskel will be in Dubai from December 2-6.

The Salata Institute, in partnership with the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, is also helping 15 students attend COP28.