COP 28: Less talk, More Action
COP28 is the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The COP28 is perhaps the most anticipated of the COP in recent times. We are at the mid-point of the SDGs 2030, and the latest science on climate change points to an uncertain future if urgent actions are not taken. On September 6th,2023, the Nairobi declaration was issued, and African leaders seemed united to push their Agenda at the COP. More than ever, the global south demands actions from the global north and more funding to finance climate adaptation and mitigation projects.
The Conference of the Parties started in 1995 and has occurred yearly. Every year, the world comes together to deliberate on urgent climate change issues and agree on a course of action.
At COP21 in 2015, the world agreed to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050. Science tells us emissions must be halved by 2030 to remain on target. We only have another seven years to meet that goal.
COP28 UAE will occur from November 30th to December 12th, 2023, at Expo City, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
The focus areas for COP28 include:
- Fast-tracking our global transition to clean energy and decarbonizing the energy industry as we attempt to limit global warming to 1.5° C (2.7° F) above pre-industrial levels.
- Helping the most vulnerable communities adapt to and recover from the effects of climate change that they’re already experiencing.
- Creating a “comprehensive transformation” of climate finance that builds on the progress made last year and helps vulnerable communities rebuild after climate-related disasters.
- Ensuring that these conversations and how the solutions are implemented are genuinely inclusive, highlighting youth and Indigenous voices.
It is widely agreed that climate change is the most existential threat facing the world right now. The unpredictability of its effects in different regions and the vulnerability of African countries has generated many conversations, given that Africa contributes just about 3% of the total emissions. We have seen increased climate-related disasters, health impacts, effects on agriculture and loss of biodiversity.
The COP28 UAE Presidency believes governments and the private sector must work closely to address climate change. Through the Green Zone, the COP28 UAE Presidency offers the private sector the opportunity to showcase their contributions and solutions to the global climate challenge. Their innovative approaches, climate action technologies and entrepreneurship will be essential to COP28.
Primary activities at the COP 28
COP pavilions: stakeholders can hold events to showcase their ideas and innovations. The kinds of activities in the COP pavilions are listed below:
- N. Climate Change Pavilion
- N. Climate Change Global Innovation Hub
- Action hub events
- 4th Capacity Building hub
- Side-events and exhibits
COP 28 UAE Thematic program: The COP28 Presidency’s two-week thematic program is geared towards responding to the Global Stocktake and closing the gaps to 2030. COP28 UAE is the first Presidency to hold an open consultation on thematic areas and sequencing, inviting inputs from a broad mix of stakeholders across government, business, civil society, youth, and Indigenous Peoples.
The Blue Zone is a UNFCCC-managed site, open to accredited party and observer delegates. It hosts the formal negotiations across the two weeks of the Conference, the World Climate Action Summit, the country pavilions, presidency events and hundreds of side events, including panel discussions, round tables, and cultural events.
The Green Zone is a platform to promote dialogue and awareness about climate action. It is open to non-accredited delegates, including youth groups, civil society, NGOs, the private sector, indigenous groups and the general public.
Expectations from the COP28
The Conference of the parties is designed to be a continuum of negotiations over issues. Thus, the COP28 is expected to continue the conversations from the COP27. Notable expectations are the need to take urgent actions to address the climate crisis. The Global Stocktake report concluded that countries are not close to reaching the Paris Agreement Goals.
Furthermore, it is expected that conversations will continue on the future of fossil fuels in the global energy systems and the need to improve investment in the renewable energy sector.
At the COP27, the loss and damage fund were formally established and designed to complement the Green Climate Fund and provide the needed adaptation finance for the developing nations. The model for the operationalization of this fund is expected to be discussed at the COP28
As we look forward to the COP28, one fundamental question is Africa’s position. Is there an African agenda? At the maiden Africa Climate Summit, the president of Kenya noted the need for developed countries to show leadership and accelerate efforts to reduce emissions, fulfil the $100 billion in annual climate finance as declared during the COP15, and phase out fossil fuels.
Lastly, a pertinent question is, is there an Africa Agenda at the COP28? If yes, what do you think the agenda should be about as we approach the COP28 date?