Summer 2023 Executive Education Masterclass

Taking our foot off the accelerator: prospects for climate action in 2023

Course Description

Without urgent action to boost clean development, emissions reductions and investment in our resilience, we are on “a highway to hell with our foot on the accelerator.” So says the UN Secretary General..

With climate diplomacy now omnipresent at virtually every negotiation table of consequence around the world, literacy and the ability to facilitate such discussions has become essential for leaders across all sectors: for those occupying boardrooms and c-suites, in cabinet offices and military commands, and leading NGOs and other civil society organizations.

This course offers a rare opportunity to work closely with Rachel Kyte, leading expert in climate diplomacy, and the economics and finance of climate action. Dean Kyte's advisory roles have included former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, as well as climate envoy of the World Bank and advisor to governments, the UN, development banks and private funds. Join Dean Kyte this summer for an exceptional collaborative learning experience.

Through lectures, research-based readings, contemporary analysis and active discussion, this class provides an understanding of the current state of climate diplomacy. The course will review what is at stake in climate diplomacy in 2023 and address key issues around climate finance- the issue around which so much climate diplomacy implodes. Additionally, we will examine leadership among governments and non-state actors and ask how the United Nations can hold all actors accountable for urgent action. What has to happen to achieve the requisite changes in agreements at the next climate talks presided over by the UAE in November 2023?

The course has three components:

  • Progress to Date. A review of progress to date. What has been the progress in multilateral conferences on climate and on other agreements that will have a bearing on climate action. How does current geopolitical tensions and wars and conflicts have a bearing on what can be achieved in global climate action.
  • Energy Transitions - Climate action requires urgent reduction and removal of carbon emissions. Energy systems are at the heard of emissions reduction. Energy transitions are underway, but energy markets have undergone upheaval since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Despite stark warnings by the UN IPCC and IEA that we cannot exploit more fossil fuels in our energy mix, subsidies are increasing, and investment continues. But at the same time, renewable energy is seeing increasing investments and share of the energy mix. How can we understand the energy transition and what is needed to spur it forward.
  • Climate Finance is the golden thread that is woven through all aspects of climate action. How to finance the economic transformation that climate mitigation demands, the resilience necessary for climate adaptation and the compensation necessary as “loss and damage” is incurred by the most vulnerable is one of the most intractable elements of climate diplomacy but also spills over into discussions around reform of international financial institutions, reform of the multilateral trade system, economic cooperation in the G7 and G20 as well as domestic financial regulation and supervision. How does the climate finance discussion intersect with other pressing global economic issues, including debt relief and rescheduling? How can investment in clean technologies be grown quickly? What is the current state of play in innovations for new sources of finance to flow to where they are needed including nature based solutions?

Learning Outcomes

In this course, you will...

  • Analyze the opportunities for effective climate diplomacy in the run up to COP28
  • Understand tensions within energy transitions
  • Understand current analysis on how to finance climate action and implications for the financial system
  • Engage with up-to-the-minute research and analysis on climate action and climate diplomacy
  • Build your professional network

Course Schedule

Self-paced Modules (May 18 – June 18)

  • Module 1: Current State of Climate Action
  • Module 2: Dueling Narratives: Reasons for Hope, Reasons for Concern
  • Module 3: Where Climate and the Economy Meet: Climate Finance
  • Module 4: Looking Forward to COP 28

Live Online Sessions:

  • June 8
  • June 10
  • June 11

Certificates Issued: June 23, 2023

Who Should Enroll

This course is widely applicable for professionals whose work impacts the climate or has the potential for climate action. We encourage leaders from the private sector, nonprofit sector, NGOs, and public service to register. The diversity of the learning community in this course facilitates a dynamic learning environment, and we encourage you to register regardless of your industry background.

No specific technical skills or prerequisites are required to succeed in this course.


Certificate of Completion

Course Fee


Rachel Kyte

Rachel Kyte

Prior to joining Fletcher, Rachel Kyte served as special representative of the UN secretary-general and chief executive officer of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL). She previously was the World Bank Group vice president and special envoy for climate change, leading the run-up to the Paris Agreement. She was also vice president at the International Finance Corporation responsible for ESG risk and business advisory services.

In her U.N. role and as CEO of SEforAll, a public-private platform created by the U.N. and World Bank, Kyte led efforts to promote and finance clean, reliable and affordable energy as part of the U.N .Sustainable Development Goals. She served as co-chair of U.N. Energy.

Read her full bio here.