London’s Guildhall Hosts as MLA College and CIFAL City of London Lead COP26 Environmental Legacy Discussion
On Wednesday, November 1st, the prestigious Guildhall in London played host to an exceptional event, jointly organized by MLA College and CIFAL City of London. This event brought together a distinguished gathering of leading experts and thought leaders to delve deep into the legacy of COP26 and scrutinize the United Kingdom’s environmental practices in preparation for COP28.
Munsur Ali, Chair of Culture, Heritage, and Libraries in the City, extended a warm welcome to the attendees at the historic Guildhall. As the world’s oldest continuous workers’ residence and democratic cooperative, where elections have been held since 640 AD, the Guildhall set the stage for an evening of profound discussions.
The Lord Mayor Elect, Professor Michael Mainelli, delivered an engaging and thought-provoking introduction to the evening. He underscored the remarkable progress the City of London has made in the field of sustainability, emphasizing that the world’s first clean air act was passed by the City of London Corporation in 1953. Professor Mainelli also revealed that there are more than 200,000 Engineers and Scientists in the City, surpassing the number of financiers. Professor John Chudley, Rector of MLA College and Chair of the Engineering Council, noted that this presents an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with the city in integrating sustainability within the development of professional registered engineers.
MLA College, in partnership with CIFAL City of London, has developed a suite of sustainable degree programs that can be delivered worldwide through distance learning. Professor Basak Akdemir, CEO of MLA College and Director of CIFAL City of London, shed light on the strong partnership between the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and CIFAL City of London, which led to the creation of the Bachelor of Science in Global Sustainable Development, Master of Science in Global Sustainable Development, and Master of Science in Sustainability in Practice.
The event’s expert panel featured luminaries such as Alex Mejia, Director of the Division for People and Social Inclusion for UNITAR and Managing Director of the CIFAL Global Network, who offered invaluable insights into global climate initiatives. Stanley Johnson, Chair of GEDU Advisory Board and former Member of the European Parliament, shared his profound knowledge on international environmental policies.
Dr. Paul Wright, Sustainability Lead at MLA College, and Chris Gaunt OBE, Chair of the British Chamber of Commerce Turkey, delivered inspiring presentations. They emphasized that it is no longer an option for this generation to leave the environmental challenges for the next. The legacy of all COP conferences must be a collective effort to prepare our society for the rapid changes needed to mitigate the impending crisis.
To cap off the evening, Guy Fennell, Founder and CEO of Pura, delivered a dynamic presentation. Pura’s mission is to “democratize eco” by offering affordable, eco-friendly solutions for parents through a range of plastic-free baby wipes and eco-friendly disposable nappies.
Following a thought-provoking Q&A session, the event transitioned seamlessly into a networking session. Attendees had the opportunity to connect, share insights, and build valuable connections with like-minded individuals dedicated to addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the climate crisis.
The Guildhall event was a testament to the unwavering commitment of MLA College and its partners, with the generous support of CIFAL City of London, the City of London Corporation, and Pura. Together, they provided a platform for in-depth discussions on the global environmental landscape. The event left attendees with renewed inspiration and a strengthened sense of purpose as the world prepares for COP28.