COP28 or Conference of Parties, is all set for the world leaders to come together in the Expo City, Dubai, from November 30 to December 12 to take cognizance of the current climate situation. Every year, the leaders meet to discuss the policies, and strategies to combat climate change.
COP is the annual climate change of United Nations’s conference that convenes world leaders, ministers, and negotiators to strategise on climate change mitigation. The conference involves governments that have committed to international climate agreements such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement.
It is also attended by various sectors of participants from civil society, private sector representatives, international organisations, and the media.
From the year 2021, the focus at COP has been on meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement, with an aim to contain the global temperature from rising above 1.5C. The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty that entered into force on 4 November, 2016. It includes commitments from all countries to reduce their emissions and work together to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and calls on countries to strengthen their commitments over time.
COP27, which took place last year in Egypt, focused on several issues, notably among them loss and damage for the Global South. At COP27, the need to enhance resilience for four billion people living in the most climate vulnerable communities by 2030 was discussed. Most vulnerable countries who contribute least to climate change have been demanding for climate justice and proportionate distribution of resources to adapt to climate changes. It was also the first comprehensive global adaptation-focused plan to rally by both governments and non-State actors behind a shared set of actions. The plans cover points of action on issues related to food security and agriculture, water and nature, human settlements, oceans, and cities.
A handful of issues which will take centre stage at this year’s COP. It will complete assessing the progress done under the guidelines laid down by the Paris Agreement. The parties will need to develop a roadmap to speed up the process to tackle climate change. And also discuss the allocation of funds under the loss and damage. Apart from that, climate finance will continue to remain on top of the agenda.
In addition, the conference marks the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake, which is a fundamental component of the Paris Agreement used to monitor its implementation and evaluate the collective progress made in achieving the goals. The governments also aim to develop a roadmap to accelerate climate action. They will also talk about the progress made under last year’s ‘Loss and Damage Fund’, and the allocation of these funds. The COP28 also seeks to adopt a framework for the Paris Agreement’s adaptation goal, providing clarity on the goal and measuring progress.
As the Earth warms at a dangerous pace, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)-led Cool Coalition, with the United Arab Emirates’ incoming presidency of COP28, has also announced the development of a Global Cooling Pledge and a “Cool COP Menu of Actions” that will feature prominently at COP28. The Menu will be defined over the coming months in close collaboration with partners including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL).
This year for the first time COP28 UAE Presidency in collaboration with WHO, is hosting the first-ever Health Day at the COP28 UN Climate Conference. The Health Day will be focusing on five key topics. It will discuss the direct impact of climate change on human health. And the importance of promoting health arguments for climate action, and the benefits of mitigation.The conference will also focus on enhancing climate resilience healthcare practices.
Fossil Fuel Phase-out and Energy Transition: The conference will likely spotlight the need to phase out fossil fuels, particularly coal, oil, and gas. Driven by the urgency of the climate crisis, discussions on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and renewable energy targets will be pivotal.
Focus on Food Systems: There will be emphasis on the food, agriculture sectors of the world. The role it plays in contributing to emissions of greenhouse gases. And how both public and private parties need to come together to transform the agriculture industry into more sustainable, and carbon neutral.
Climate Finance: As always, climate finance remains a crucial topic, with developing countries seeking resources for emissions reduction, climate adaptation, and addressing loss and damage.
COP28 is planning to bring the big, small players of climate solutions under one roof, and mitigate plans, policies to combat climate change, and provide an array of solutions for it.