Kearney partners with Model United Nations in the run-up to COP28

07 October 2022 3 min. read

Model United Nations has signed a partner with strategy consultancy Kearney, as the two firms prepare for the ModelCOP28 – the student-run version of COP28 which will be held in Dubai next year.

In the footsteps of United Nation’s COP27 in Egypt this year, Dubai will be the centre stage for COP28, welcoming heads of states, politicians, business leaders and leading academics from all corners of the globe to discuss the growing threat of climate change.

With the stakes higher than ever, and the UAE keen to prove its worth on the global sustainability stage, going by early reports COP28 is poised to take some major resolutions to combat climate change.

Kearney partners with Model United Nations in the run-up to COP28

While the official consulting partner for COP28 has not yet been unveiled (Boston Consulting Group was partner of COP26 in Glasgow and is also partner of COP27), Kearney has seemingly taken an early mover advantage for its to be expected candidacy by striking a partnership with Model United Nations – a network that simulates the United Nations with the aim of providing students experience with diplomacy, international relations and other pressing topics.


In the run-up to COP28, the Middle East branch of Model United Nations is organising ModelCOP28, a year+ long effort (September 2022 to November 2023) that will challenge 100,000 school and university students in the UAE to think along on key topics within the climate change and sustainability landscape.

“ModelCOP is set to train over 100,000 students till COP 28, and longer term, our goal is to reach 1 million students within the next 5-year cycle, equipping them not only with climate sensitive knowledge but soft skills such as planning, negotiation and compromise. All essential skills for leadership and entrepreneurship,” said Ishrat Siddiqui, Managing Director of ModelCOP28.

Hot on the heels of signing partnership agreements with UNFCCC, the World Economic Forum, MIT Sloan, UN Global Compact, Dubai Municipality and the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, ModelCOP28 has now appointed Kearney as its official training partner.

Training partner: Kearney

As a part of the partnership, Kearney will provide a financial backing to ModelCOP28’s goals, and around 20 consultants of the consulting firm will support the delivery of training efforts to the 100,000 students. Kearney will also send a delegation to the convening ModelCOP28 conference.

“Our consultants will be working hand-in-hand with UAE students through virtual and live conferences to equip them with climate leadership skills and empower them to become active climate ambassadors,” explained Bob Willen, Managing Director of Kearney in the Middle East.

“We are extremely excited about this impactful partnership. Investing in the next generation and in sustainability are key priorities for Kearney and this partnership is a cornerstone helping us push forward on both objectives.”

Meanwhile, the deal also helps Kearney increase its exposure among students, raise its internal awareness around sustainability challenges, and provides the firm’s consultants with exciting impactful opportunities, added Willen.

Last month, Kearney became the first major management consultancy to have its net zero targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative. “We need to act fast, we need to act now, and we need to base our actions on science if we are to have any chance of meeting our necessary goals. With this milestone, we are living up to our vision to lead in sustainability,” said Alex Liu, Global Managing Partner of Kearney.