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COP28 UAE: A global effort to tackle climate change

29 November, 2023

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has unveiled its ambitious agenda for the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), set to take place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. This pivotal event will encompass several key meetings and mark significant milestones in the global effort to combat climate change.

In this article, we will delve into what COP28 is, the key components and objectives, and what we can hope to achieve from this important event.


What is COP28?

COP28, short for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is a major international summit dedicated to addressing climate change. The UNFCCC, established in 1992, is a global treaty aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change and promoting international cooperation in this regard. COPs are annual meetings that bring together representatives from nearly every country on Earth to discuss, negotiate, and take action on climate-related issues.


What is COP28 for?

The primary purpose of COP28, like its predecessors, is to advance the global effort to combat climate change. It serves as a platform for countries to:

  1. Assess Progress: COPs provide an opportunity for countries to evaluate the progress they have made in meeting their climate-related goals and commitments, as outlined in previous COP agreements.
  2. Negotiate Agreements: Countries negotiate and discuss new agreements, commitments, and strategies to address climate change. These negotiations are often complex and can cover a wide range of topics, including emissions reductions, adaptation to climate impacts, and financial support for vulnerable nations.
  3. Share Knowledge and Best Practices: COPs facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practices among countries and stakeholders. This knowledge-sharing helps nations learn from one another and implement effective climate solutions.
  4. Raise Awareness: COPs attract global attention and serve as a platform for raising awareness about the urgency of climate change. They bring together not only government officials but also scientists, activists, and the media to highlight the importance of climate action.
  5. Mobilise Resources: COPs play a crucial role in securing financial resources for climate-related projects in developing countries. This financial support is essential for these nations to transition to more sustainable and resilient economies.


Key Components of COP28

COP28 is set to be a comprehensive gathering, incorporating multiple important meetings:

  1. Conference of the Parties (COP 28): The main event where nations come together to discuss and make decisions on climate action.
  2. Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 5): Focused on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
  3. Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 18): Addressing commitments related to greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.
  4. Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 59): A platform to discuss and coordinate the practical aspects of climate action.
  5. Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 59): Focused on scientific and technological aspects of climate change.


Global Stocktake and Climate Progress

One of the most significant aspects of COP28 is the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake, a critical process for evaluating global progress in implementing the Paris Agreement. This multi-year endeavour, initiated during COP26, assesses advancements in mitigation, adaptation, and implementation and support every five years. It will enter its final phase at COP28, where key findings will be presented and discussed.


Four Paradigm Shifts at COP28

COP28 will be centred around four transformative shifts in climate action:

  1. Accelerating the Energy Transition: A key focus will be the rapid transition to sustainable energy sources and substantial emissions reductions by 2030.
  2. Revolutionising Climate Finance: COP28 aims to fulfil longstanding commitments and lay the groundwork for a new financial framework to support climate initiatives.
  3. Prioritising Nature and People: Putting the well-being of nature and communities at the core of climate action is imperative, ensuring that lives and livelihoods are protected.
  4. Promoting Inclusivity: COP28 strives to be the most inclusive conference to date, involving all stakeholders in shaping climate solutions.


Crucial Areas of Concentration

Several crucial areas will receive special attention at COP28:

Climate Finance: High-income countries have faced criticism for falling short of their pledge to mobilise $100 billion annually for adaptation financing by 2020. While $83.3 billion was mobilised in 2020, projections suggest that the $100 billion goal will likely be surpassed in 2023, with annual funding expected to continue rising in 2024 and 2025.

Global Goal on Adaptation: The Paris Agreement introduced the Global Goal on Adaptation, aimed at driving collective action on climate adaptation. COP26 set in motion a two-year work program to translate this goal into tangible actions. At COP27, countries decided on the framework for achieving the Global Goal on Adaptation, which will be further deliberated and potentially adopted at COP28 through workshops and discussions.


What Can We Hope to Achieve from COP28?

COP28 holds the potential to achieve significant milestones in the global fight against climate change. Here are some key outcomes that we can hope for:

  1. Enhanced Commitments: One of the central goals of COP28 is to encourage countries to strengthen their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The previous COPs, including COP21 (which led to the Paris Agreement), laid the foundation for these commitments. COP28 will push for more ambitious targets to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as agreed in the Paris Agreement.
  2. Solidify Adaptation Efforts: Climate change impacts are already being felt worldwide. COP28 will prioritise discussions on adaptation strategies to help countries cope with the consequences of a changing climate. This includes building resilient infrastructure, protecting vulnerable communities, and ensuring food and water security.
  3. Addressing Loss and Damage: COP28 will tackle the critical issue of loss and damage caused by climate change. This includes situations where the effects of climate change are so severe that they lead to irreversible losses. Negotiations will focus on how to support and compensate countries facing such losses.
  4. Financial Commitments: Developed countries are expected to fulfil their financial commitments to support climate action in developing nations. COP28 will seek to mobilise additional funding to help these countries transition to cleaner and more sustainable economies.
  5. Advancing Renewable Energy: COP28 is likely to emphasise the transition to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, as a key strategy to reduce emissions. Countries may pledge to accelerate their shift away from fossil fuels and invest in renewable energy infrastructure.
  6. International Cooperation: Successful international cooperation is essential to combat climate change effectively. COP28 provides an opportunity for countries to strengthen their partnerships and collaborate on innovative solutions to global challenges.
  7. Public Engagement: As with previous COPs, COP28 will attract significant media coverage and public attention. This will help raise awareness about climate change and the urgent need for action, encouraging individuals and businesses to take steps toward sustainability.



COP28 in Dubai, represents a critical moment in the global effort to combat climate change. As the world faces increasingly severe climate impacts, the decisions and commitments made at this conference will have far-reaching consequences. It is our hope that COP28 will lead to more ambitious climate goals, increased financial support for vulnerable nations, and a renewed commitment to international cooperation. Ultimately, this conference holds the potential to shape the future of climate action and drive the world towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

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