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Home > Events

Tuesday, 28th February, 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Debate: This House Believes that the COP process will fail

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In the aftermath of COP 27 we have the opportunity to consider if the COP process is up to the task of solving the climate crisis or whether it is time to explore alternative approaches.

Join us for this final event of the Climate Deep Dialogue to hear activists, politicians and business leaders debate a motion which affects us all.

We are pleased to confirm the speakers for the debate will be:


Caspar Rawles is the Chief Data Officer at Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, a London-based leading research and consultancy firm focusing on the lithium ion battery to EV supply chain. At Benchmark, Caspar leads a team that collects and assesses sensitive market price data on lithium, graphite, cobalt, and nickel for use in industry supply contracts and negotiations. As a result, Benchmark is most famous for setting the lithium industry’s reference price and is the world’s leading Price Reporting Agency for the global battery supply chain.

Illana Adamson is a sustainable development thought leader, board advisor and keynote speaker. She delivers keynotes and chairs panel conversations to push the needle on broader understanding of the risks and opportunities in sustainability. Illana is also the CEO of Be Better Sustainability, a sustainability consultancy, and has over 30 years’ experience in strategic luxury marketing.

Abhijith Subramanian is a finalist in International Relations at the London School of Economics. He is a climate activist and social organiser who formerly ran the North-West of England’s division of Fridays for Future. Abhijith is also an internationally rated debater, judge and coach. He has served as President of the University of London’s Debating Society, and vice-president of LSE Debate and the Pan-London Debating Society. He chairs the ESU’s Speech and Debate Committee and works as an ESU Oracy Coach.


Caroline Russell is a London Assembly Member and Leader of the Green Group at City Hall. Caroline has sat on the Assembly since 2016 and from 2018–2021 was the Chair of the Environment Committee. Formerly an artist and art college lecturer, Caroline retrained as a civil engineer and in 2014 was elected as the sole opposition councillor in Islington. Today Caroline sits across four Committees in City Hall.

Karen McClellan is an experienced fund manager, investor and board member focusing on worldwide decarbonization. She was the first representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development at UNFCC COP negotiations in 2001 and is currently Head of Climate Investment for The Lemos Group (a leading shipping company). She is also a board member of TT International’s Environmental Solutions Fund, the Panel of Experts for the International Renewable Energy Agency, and acts as a designated expert for the UK Accelerated Climate Transitions program.

Sumaiya Bangura was selected as the Chair of the London Youth Assembly at 14, hosting the first Young Londoner’s Question Time at City Hall. She is currently a member of the London Youth Recovery Board, a Mission Champion for the Mayor’s ‘New Deal for Young People’ and regularly speaks at the London Anchor’s Institutions Network. As a Rise Global Winner, a highly competitive $1 billion initiative by Schmidt Futures, she is recognised as one of the ‘world’s most promising teens’. Sumaiya has previously taken part in the ESU’s competitions and sits on the London Branch Speech and Debate Committee.

The event will be chaired by Sir Martin Chamberlain, High Court Judge. Mr Justice Chamberlain was a barrister for 21 years, latterly a QC specialising in public law, human rights and public international law. He was appointed as a High Court Judge in 2019 and hears civil and criminal cases in London and elsewhere in England and Wales.

Martin has degrees from Oxford and a diploma from City University, London. He was born and went to school in Edinburgh, where he took part in the ESU’s debating and public speaking competitions. Under the auspices of ESU Scotland, he was a member of the winning Scottish team in the World Schools Debating Championships in 1990.

This Deep Dialogue series – Beyond COP: Is It Time to Change Course? – is held in support of the charitable mission of the English-Speaking Union. Every ticket sold will help the English-Speaking Union in its work to give young people the speaking and listening skills and cultural understanding they need to thrive.

Event Timings:
6:00 – 6:30pm | Arrival
6:30 – 8:00pm | Debate
8:00 – 9:30pm | Drinks
9:30pm | Close

Further Information About the Series:
Beyond COP: Is It Time to Change Course?

We are in the midst of an existential climate crisis, from extreme weather and ecosystem decline to biodiversity loss and crop failure. Climate change is also compounding inequality and has the potential to drive significant unrest if we fail to act now.

In the aftermath of COP 27 we have the opportunity to consider: Is our current approach enough to deal with the climate crisis or is it time to change course?

In this Climate Deep Dialogue we will explore this question and hear from scientists, academics, activists, politicians and entrepreneurs. We invite you to join us for a provocative, challenging, engaging and inspiring series of events, which will focus on finding the solutions to make radical progress on the climate crisis.


Tuesday, 28th February
6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
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Ticket Prices

Member Ticket price
Young Members (U27) £15. ESU Members £25
Non-Member Ticket price


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