COP28: The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference

What is COP

The way the world organises its collective response to the global challenge of climate change is through Conferences of the Parties (COPs). At the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, world leaders came together to establish the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In order to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change, the Convention called for yearly meetings of the COP. The historic Paris Agreement, which committed nations to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions this century and keeping the average global warming to 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels, was the result of the 21st session of the COP (COP21) in 2015. COP28 is a historic occasion where countries will formally evaluate their progress since the Paris Agreement as part of a Global Stocktake for the first time. A climate emergency is here, but so is hope.

COP28

The 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is currently underway in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It began on November 30th and will continue until December 12th, 2023.

Goals

  • Review progress on the Paris Agreement: COP28 is a crucial moment for countries to assess their progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
  • Chart a course for increased ambition: The conference aims to encourage countries to submit more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which outline their plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Accelerate climate action: COP28 seeks to accelerate the implementation of climate projects and initiatives worldwide.

Key themes

  • Global stocktake: This is the first global stocktake of the Paris Agreement, which will assess the collective progress of countries towards its goals.
  • Means of implementation: This theme focuses on providing developing countries with the resources they need to implement climate action.
  • Adaptation: Building resilience to the impacts of climate change is another key focus of COP28.
  • Loss and damage: This theme addresses the compensation for countries that are already experiencing the negative effects of climate change.

Current status (December 6th, 2023)

  • High-Level events: Three high-level events have already taken place, focusing on adaptation, means of implementation, and mitigation.
  • Negotiations: Negotiations are ongoing on various issues, including the global stocktake, finance, and technology.
  • Side events: The conference also features a wide range of side events hosted by governments, businesses, NGOs, and other organizations.
  • Urbanization and Transport Day: Today’s focus is on finding solutions for healthier, more liveable cities.
  • Closure on Thursday, December 7th: The venue will be closed tomorrow, with no official meetings or services available.

Additional details

  • Presidency: Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change, is the President-Designate of COP28.
  • Location: The conference is being held at Expo City Dubai.
  • Participants: Over 50,000 delegates from governments, businesses, NGOs, and civil society are expected to attend.
  • Media coverage: COP28 is receiving significant media attention from around the world.

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