COP 28 - Everything you need to know

This year’s annual Conference of the Parties (COP28) about to begin, and Earth Active’s Natasha Jacobs will once again be ready to report on the events as they unfold at the global climate conference. From China and its methane summit to financing adaptation to King Charles’ opening speech, it’s set to be an interesting one.

The famous climate negotiations, beginning on the 30th November, will be held in Dubai, which in itself has been a topic of conversation. The UAE is one of the top ten oil-producing nations, and has appointed the chief executive of the state-owned oil company president of the COP. Discussions around the implications of this have already begun, so we will watch with interest and hope the aims of the COP are not overshadowed.

The annual conference is a crucial component of the monitoring of the Paris Agreement, a long term goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C, agreed in Paris in 2015. Vital to achieving this target, and a key topic to be discussed at the climate summit, is the rapid move to ‘clean’ energy sources, and away from oil and gas. While countries at COP26 agreed to ‘phase down’ the use of coal, no target was set to eliminate all CO2 producing fossil fuels. Indeed, this year’s COP has been hailed a ‘global stocktake’ of progress made against the Paris Agreement. Findings from a technical assessment conducted earlier this year report that while progress has been made, we remain massively behind.

Among the hot topics relating to fossil fuels this year will be the development and use of emissions-reducing technologies. These include improvements in energy efficiency and capacity as well as enhanced cooling approaches. The President’s Letter to Parties states that ‘we need to enable the formation and deployment of new private capital to help countries take a path of private sector and technology-led growth that is consistent with the Paris Agreement.’ Whilst carbon capture and storage technologies will likely play an important role in achieving the net zero by 2050 target, there is a growing concern that over-reliance on these projects will hide – and potentially even justify – further fossil fuel use.

Following on from last year’s meeting, COP28 will also build on the issue of ‘loss and damage’, which is a term used to describe the serious, material impacts of climate change in vulnerable countries around the world. COP27 saw the formation of a landmark Loss and Damage Fund, and later the establishment of a ‘transitional committee’, dedicated to exploring how this fund will work in practice. After a series of negotiations throughout the year a draft proposal has now been settled and will form the basis of a final decision by COP28 leaders.

Other themes to be discussed include food and agriculture, health and recovery, and nature, land use and oceans. It will be interesting to see the progress against other goals set in previous years, such as the Global Goal on Adaptation (2015), or the changing rules of carbon markets, discussed but not finalised last year.

Stay tuned for updates!

Natasha Jacobs - ESG Consultant, Earth Active

30 November 2023
Catherine Barrett
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram