Posted on June 09, 2015

HEC Paris in Qatar, one of the top ranked business schools in the world, organized a joint conference with the French Embassy to the State of Qatar as part of a series of events leading to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) to be held in Paris at the end of this year. 

Under the theme ‘Towards the COP21: Facing the challenges of the climate change’, the conference was held on 7 June 2015 at the HEC Paris premises in Tornado Tower, Doha, and attended by over 100 participants, among whom were official representatives from the Ministry of Environment. The speakers of the event were His Excellency Eric Chevallier, Ambassador of France to the State of Qatar, and Dr. Philippe Freyssinet, Director of Energy & Environment at the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The conference was moderated by Professor Laoucine Kerbache, Dean & CEO of HEC Paris in Qatar.

COP21 refers to the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as ‘Paris 2015’. Up to 40,000 delegates representing 194 countries, observers, and civil society members will aim towards a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all countries, which will keep global warming below 2°C. France has two major responsibilities for COP21: as the host country, it will provide the participants with the best possible working environment and, as the Conference presidency, it will also facilitate discussions between countries and ensure that negotiations are transparent and inclusive.

Conference on COP21 and Climate 2 [].jpg“Climate change is not a theoretical risk, we need to mitigate global warming and to adapt to this reality now,” said Ambassador Chevallier. “France, as the host country of the COP21, has a special responsibility in raising awareness on this global issue. We are working in close cooperation with our Qatari partners to act on this subject, both locally and internationally.” Quoting Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ambassador Chevallier concluded: “There is no plan B because there is no planet B.”

Dr. Philippe Freyssinet presented the scope of research currently held in Qatar with a particular focus on environmental risks that may occur in the Gulf region due to climate change issues. He also showed the Qatar’s R&D efforts on CO2 abatement technologies and in particular Carbon Capture and Sequestration projects. 

“As the global community of nations have deemed it necessary to immediately address serious and pressing environmental issues and concerns, HEC Paris strongly believes that it is its duty and responsibility to assist in the facilitation of intellectual and scholarly discussions that will positively and significantly contribute to the objectives of COP21,” Prof. Kerbache said. “We are therefore honored to have worked hand in hand with the Embassy of France in Qatar on this matter, and shall continue to support all efforts toward the achievement of COP21’s goals. Furthermore, for many years now, HEC Paris has been active in developing and delivering research initiatives and academic programs related to sustainable development and climate change.”

COP21 will be held from 30 November to 11 December at Paris-Le Bourget in France.