Watch: Santa Claus at COP28? Nope, it's 'Sustaina Claus' and he wants a better future for children

The civil rights activist is famous for his distinctive three-finger sign symbolising the harmony between society, environment, and economy

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Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

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Philip McMaster, also known as Sustaina Claus, at the COP28 UAE, held at expo city in Dubai. Photos: Muhammad Sajjad
Philip McMaster, also known as Sustaina Claus, at the COP28 UAE, held at expo city in Dubai. Photos: Muhammad Sajjad

Published: Tue 12 Dec 2023, 6:32 PM

Last updated: Tue 12 Dec 2023, 9:13 PM

Philip McMaster, also known as 'Sustaina Claus,' is a civil rights activist, former MBA professor at the university, and an eco-entrepreneurship developer. His mission is to travel around the world and work towards a more sustainable future for children as 'Sustaina Claus'.

The Canadian has attended eight COPs since 2015 and returned to the UAE after 25 years, finding it transformed into a "hub for sustainability information, innovation, and training."

Dressed as a Santa Claus, Philip is bringing children's toys with the message "We act in peace" to COP28. He advocates for civil and human rights, emphasising the importance of individual social responsibility for parents and leaders. His message encourages them to "prioritise building a sustainable future for our children and becoming stewards of the earth".

Philip McMaster with his fans at the COP28 UAE
Philip McMaster with his fans at the COP28 UAE

Philip is famous for his distinctive three-finger sign symbolising the harmony between society, environment, and economy. According to McMaster, parents must foster a healthy relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and their children. He recommends that parents allocate time away from screens to engage in play with their children and initiate a 'Change Wednesday' ritual at home. This weekly tradition aims to guide parents, guardians, and children in cultivating the habits of smiling, embracing change, and disconnecting from screens.

Why dress up as Santa? Philip believes in spreading happiness and sustainability, "People are attracted to the red hat, and they discover their love for the sustainable Claus message how it is spreading happiness and awareness throughout communities to make the planet healthier and happier. "

The COP28 conference has demonstrated remarkable efforts and dedication towards addressing global issues. Philip observed, "This is certainly the biggest COP, featuring a significantly more interactive and populous green zone than previous COPs."

However, he also noted that, for the first time, he was not granted two weeks of access to the blue zone as an observer to carry out his civil society oversight work. As a result, "the conference missed the community and some of its intimacy."

During the initial days of COP28, significant commitments and accords on loss and damage have been made. Philip is optimistic that history will remember this conference, "This COP is a landmark event as it has captured the attention of all civil society and the media. Dubai has helped the world realise the urgency of addressing climate change and taking action to mitigate it."

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