Archive image of the COP28 logo on a display during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January
COP28 logo on a display during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week Image Credit: Reuters

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) is scheduled to take place from November 30 to Dec. 12 in Dubai this year. The conference will encompass four cross-cutting themes: Technology and Innovation, Inclusion, Frontline Communities, and Finance.

These thematic programmes aim to foster valuable discussions among diverse stakeholders, including governments, corporations, investors, academia, youth, gender groups, and indigenous peoples, contributing to scalable approaches using finance and technology for a more resilient future.

Marking the midway point between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 target, COP28 aims to bridge climate actions from the past to the future. It will continue negotiations on critical issues that were not fully addressed at COP27, such as finalising institutions for the loss and damage fund and intensifying efforts to double adaptation finance.

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An essential moment at COP28

As the host country, the UAE has taken a leading role in committing to emission reduction by 2030 and initiating its national Net Zero time frame in November 2022. The UAE has actively supported and prepared for the conference through a series of preparatory meetings and events.

COP28 offers a significant platform for the UAE to exhibit its climate-resilient and nature-positive strategies and initiatives, promoting the exchange of experiences and lessons to foster a more sustainable future for the UAE and the entire Gulf region.

This event will enable the UAE to demonstrate its ambitious yet practical progress in decarbonisation initiatives and projects. As major oil and gas producers and exporters globally, the GCC countries face pressures from increasing European demand for gas supplies and the urgent need to achieve emission reduction and Net Zero.

An essential moment at COP28 is the first Global Stocktake (GST) since the ratification of the Paris Agreement. The GST will provide a comprehensive review of the world’s progress on climate change, assessing results achieved so far on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), identifying needs and opportunities to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, and offering a foundation for future COPs.

COP28 Presidency continues to build momentum at Pre-COP with only 30 days to go
Image Credit: Supplied

An opportunity to re-evaluate, reinvigorate

The COP28 Presidency announced measures to ensure the inclusive participation of indigenous peoples and female attendees. Subsidies, meetings, and financial support have been arranged for indigenous groups, while technical training sessions and financial assistance have been offered to female participants.

Additionally, the UAE has pledged support for peaceful climate protests, providing a legal framework for climate activists to assemble, provided official permission is obtained.

In anticipation of hosting COP28, the UAE has declared 2023 as the “Year of Sustainability,” actively organising a series of events and initiatives. The country has approved numerous environmental initiatives as part of the efforts for decarbonisation, solar energy promotion, sustainable tourism development, and a transition to environmentally-friendly economies.

The UAE is fully prepared to host COP28, providing an opportunity to re-evaluate, reinvigorate, and steer the world towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 sustainable development targets.

Dr Mohammad Abdel Raouf is an independent environment researcher