Home » ‘COP28 is last chance for course correction’, says Dr. Angela Wilkinson at Dubai Future Forum 2023

‘COP28 is last chance for course correction’, says Dr. Angela Wilkinson at Dubai Future Forum 2023

by Madaline Dunn

This week, Dr. Angela Wilkinson, the World Energy Council’s Secretary General and CEO, told participants at the Dubai Future Forum 2023, the world’s largest gathering of futurists, that COP28 is the “world’s last chance to rectify its climate course.” 

Dr. Wilkinson said that the international community must now harness all foresight and future-thinking capabilities to address shifts in social structures and societal transformation, particularly concerning energy usage.

“We are in a new era of energy transition – for both the people and the planet,” she said, urging a more pragmatic approach to the energy transition and describing the challenge of having to “navigate an ocean of future thinking and foresight”.

In her keynote speech, Dr. Wilkinson outlined: “We must bear in mind that every living system undergoes a fundamental transformation of its underlying energy system. Reflecting on the last century, we must adopt a different perspective and consider the broader picture. Future and foresight are critical to energy transition.”

Further, she said: “Merely 7% of the world’s energy system comprises wind and solar energy, and only 2% of personal vehicles are electric. The pace of decarbonisation is much slower than necessary, and over 3 billion people worldwide lack sufficient access to affordable energy.”

Acknowledging a significant disruption in energy over the past few years, Dr. Wilkinson highlighted the compounding crises across modern energy societies and stressed that “we must strive for the best, but always remain open to what might differ from our expectations.”

“In our search for solutions, we must take stock of our expectations. COP28 represents the last chance for course correction. Our focus should be on redesigning the entire energy system and humanising the energy challenge. There is no one-size-fits-all solution,” she added.

She also emphasised the importance of overcoming fear regarding climate change, stating, “We need to bridge the gap between climate catastrophism and technological hyperbolism, fostering a new middle movement that considers what is both desirable and realistic.”

The Dubai Future Forum, taking place on 27-28 November, brings together over 2,500 global experts from diverse future-focused fields, with broad participation from ministers, government officials, industry policymakers, CEOs, and more than 100 top global organisations from over 100 countries. 

The forum features over 150 speakers across more than 70 sessions over the two days.

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