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Commentary | 26 March 2024

Ok, Doomer! The NEVER Podcast – Climate change: A hot topic

Image of Jakob Gomolka

Jakob Gomolka |Climate Diplomacy and Security Analyst at Adelphi

Image of Katie Duffy

Katie Duffy |Programme Manager on Climate Resilience and Infrastructure at British Expertise International

Climate change Diplomacy Emerging technologies Foreign policy Governance NEVER Podcasts Security Global Security NEVER

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Welcome to “Climate change: A hot topic”, the third episode of “Ok Doomer!” the podcast series by The European Leadership Network’s (ELN) New European Voices on Existential Risk (NEVER) network. Hosted by the ELN’s Policy and Impact Director, Jane Kinninmont, and the ELN’s Project and Communications Coordinator, Edan Simpson, this episode will look at the question of climate change – arguably the existential risk that people around the world are mobilised by the most.

We set the episode up in “What’s the Problem?” and hear from Olivia Blake, Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam (UK), on how the issue of climate change resonates for voters on the doorstep in Britain and how politicians can link global and local concerns. Olivia discusses the effects of natural habitat destruction, such as moorland burning in the UK’s Peak District national park, her work running Citizen Assemblies to create policies needed to combat the climate crisis, and shares her advice for young people on how to make a difference.

This is followed by our “How to fix it?” panel discussion hosted by Edan.

This week, Edan is joined by Ziya Meral, Senior Associate Fellow at the European Leadership Network. Ziya is a researcher, advisor and programmes director specialising on global trends shaping defence, security and foreign policy in the Middle east and Turkey. He’s also the co-leader of the Climate Change and (In)security project, run by Oxford University and the British Army’s Centre for Historical and Armed Conflict Research.

Joining Ziya is NEVER member Jakob Gomolka – a researcher at Berlin-based sustainability think tank Adelphi. Jakob is primarily interested in the catastrophic risks associated with climate change, as well as the second order and long-term effects of climate change, such as the governance of geoengineering technologies, and how a warming world will affect geopolitical competition

Alongside Ziya and Jakob, we are joined by NEVER member Jieqiong Duan, a PhD student at the University of Ghent. Jieqiong’s research centres on the relationship between the European Union and China, primarily relating to climate diplomacy and the effects of great power competition on existential risk.

NEVER member, Katie Duffy completes this week’s panel. Katie is the Programme Manager on climate resilience and infrastructure at British Expertise International and focuses mainly on the socio-economic effects of climate change as well as advising private sector clients on how best to approach the green transition.

The panel discuss topics including whether the increasingly noticeable effects of climate change provides an incentive for governments to cooperate and work together, especially when they are divided on so many other topics. They also cover whether the scientific solutions that are currently being developed are being utilised sufficiently by governments and policymakers, and what those working in other areas of existential risks can take from the climate change movement, especially from the angle of mobilising young people and the general public.

After our panel discussion, we “Turn Back the Clock” where Jane is joined by atmospheric chemist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Professor Susan Solomon. Professor Solomon served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the team of scientists whose atmospheric research informed the UN’s Montreal Protocol – one of the few UN protocols to be universally ratified, and the success of which means that the hole in the ozone layer should seal at some point in the middle of the century.

Finally, the episode is wrapped up in “The Debrief”, where Jane and Edan look back on the episode and their guests to make sense of everything covered.

Catch up on previous episodes, and make sure to subscribe to future episodes of “Ok, Doomer!”


The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network or any of its members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security policy challenges of our time.