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By: Rohan Mathur

My name is Rohan Mathur, and I’m a senior at the University of Chicago, majoring in Economics and Data Science. Stepping into Expo City for this year’s COP, I was struck by the venue’s immense scale and elegance, along with the sheer number of attendees. As the largest COP to date, the event has garnered significant participation from governments, MDBs, private sectors, and the public. The sessions offered a diverse range of topics, including agriculture, food security, and health, but my focus was on climate finance.

I had the privilege of sitting only a few feet away from the likes of Mark Carney, Bill Winters, and Christian Sewing as they held forth on the role of financial institutions in promoting the transition to greener technologies— as advisors, capital providers and allocators. The use of JET-Ps in Indonesia—for instance—to replace thermal power plants with renewable energy sources, using carbon credits as currency, highlighted the potential of financial solutions to drive the journey towards net zero.

I also had the opportunity to get acquainted with nature capital development and how new financial disclosure requirements under the TFNP could incentivize massive investments to expand forests, improve the quality of soil, and encourage biodiversity. As an aspiring contributor to the climate transition within the finance sector, it was inspiring to see the commitment from major banks, private equity firms, central banks, and regulators towards mobilizing the $51 trillion needed for achieving net zero.

While I recognize that the picture isn’t rosy, the degree of urgency with which these issues are seemingly being treated was reassuring. Conference-aside, I’ve enjoyed hanging around with this exchanging points of view with the passionate and clear-eyed group of Maroons that I have the privilege of traveling with. As someone who has lived in the Emirates for about 10 years, I’ve also really enjoyed introducing them to Dubai and the multicultural mosaic that is the UAE. I look forward to diving deeper and searching wider on the next few days of the summit.