Paul Watkinson has been at the heart of international action on climate change for many years, for the French government, helping to deliver the Paris Agreement in 2015, chairing the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice in 2018-2019, and advising the UAE COP28 presidency at the Dubai conference in 2023.

Paul Watkinson has several decades’ experience working to tackle climate change and advance sustainable development, playing a leading role during that time in the multilateral climate negotiations.

He served for many years as chief negotiator of France to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and was a member of the steering committee of COP21 in 2015, leading the climate negotiating team and helping draft the Paris Agreement.

He chaired the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) of the UNFCCC in 2018 and 2019, was a member of the bureau of the COP for those two years, helping get parties to agree the Paris Agreement rulebook at the Katowice conference in December 2018. He worked closely with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to ensure that the best available science could be used by parties in their work under the UNFCCC and sought to strengthen links between tackling climate change and protecting biodiversity.

Most recently, he was an advisor to the Minister of Climate Change and the Environment of the United Arab Emirates, and senior advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of COP28 that was held in Dubai in December 2023, contributing to the successful outcome of first global stocktake that set the scene for strengthened climate action in the years ahead.