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From November 30 until December 12, 2023 world leaders from over 200 countries will gather in Dubai for the 28th session of the annual United Nations climate summit, or COP28. Climate change adaptation and climate finance are some of the topics being discussed on the multilateral stage during the climate summit.

Throughout COP28, the teams from the Embassy and the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE, will host a number of Ministerial visits (from Infrastructure and Water Management to Finance and of course Climate a.o). The Netherlands will be represented in the Blue Zone by means of the European Investment Bank BeNeLux (a contraction of Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg) Pavilion.

The Netherlands will also contribute to the programming of the COP28 Water for Climate and COP28 Food for Climate Pavilions. More importantly, we have instigated a series of signature events, most of which are open to the public, in collaboration with Dutch and local companies and partners. These events align with our local and regional efforts. They focus on scalable and feasible innovations, emphasising not just the smart use of resources such as water, food production and energy efficiency but also finance and design. Please consult the overview below:

Climate Neutral Real Estate: Leadership for achieving Net Zero in desert climates

Mon, December 4, 10am-6pm | Green Zone, Slovenian Pavilion, G floor

In collaboration with Emirates Environment Group and Knauf, the Kingdom of the Netherlands is delighted to invite you for this session on Climate Neutral Real Estate. Over the past 50 years, the UAE grew from a pearl fishing and camel farming nation to an economic powerhouse.

Real estate was developed at a breathtaking pace, often with horizons for durability only spanning a few decades. Many buildings are up for a retrofit. The perfect opportunity presents itself to reduce the energy and water consumption associated with these buildings, as they are among the highest per capita in the world.

Construction materials have gone through an evolution, enabling retrofitters to reduce the carbon footprint in many ways. This day will focus on the opportunities in retrofitting that state-of-the-art technologies present.

The role of sustainable finance in global climate action

Tue, December 5, 8.30am-9.30am | Blue Zone , Greek pavilion

This insightful symposium highlights the importance of sustainable finance in bridging the gap and mobilizing the private sector towards sustainability. Participants from the finance and government will discuss how this can go hand in hand.

Scaling up clean hydrogen

Tue, December 5, 12.50pm-1.40pm | Green Zone, Technology & Innovation Stage (T&I 2)

Setting up a Green Hydrogen Economy requires an innovative climate to develop, implement new technologies and ensure these can be applied at scale. The Netherlands is a breeding ground for hydrogen related companies but they need to work with the Middle East as a future production location for low-cost green hydrogen in order to pilot and scale-up the new technologies but also enabling a more balanced energy system.

Blueprint for a circular water smart society

Wed, December 6, 2pm-2.50pm | Green Zone, Technology & Innovation Stage (T&I 2)

In collaboration with the Water Alliance, Hydraloop and Metito, this event builds upon the successful launch of Blueprint for a Circular Smart Water Society during the UN Water Conference in NY. The Blueprint presents concrete solutions for practical application of circular water and a vision on water usage in the built environment.

Building climate resilient Infrastructure

Wed, December 6, 2.50pm-3.25pm | Green Zone, Technology & Innovation Stage (T&I 2)

In collaboration with the Global Centre on Adaptation, Deltares and Van Oord, this event aims to share knowledge on building climate resilient infrastructure, with a focus on water management.

Get in the ring: Unleash the power of innovation in water

Sat, December 9, 3.30pm-7pm | Green Zone, Slovenia Business Centre, G Floor

Step into the Arena at COP28: Unleash the power of innovation in water! Join us at Get In The Ring COP28 for unique start up battles. Be part of the future, where innovation meets opportunity, and challenges are met with excitement and determination!

Water cycles: cop28 Design conversations

Sat, December 9, 4pm-6pm | Jameel Arts Centre

How can design and the arts help sustain or restart healthy water cycles? How can community-led and co-creative design present solutions to pressing hydrologic challenges brought about by climate change?

This afternoon symposium brings together thinkers from architecture, social practice and the arts to explore how design-focused and arts-driven practices can shape the understanding and health of water cycles across different geographies. Within the COP28 framing of December 9, 2023 as the Nature, Land Use, and Oceans Day, this event at the Jameel Arts Centre will host speakers from the Netherlands, India, Kuwait, and Bahrain. They will discuss ground-up regenerative approaches to tackling the hydrological impacts of the climate crisis.

Each speaker is engaged with (re)designing thought frameworks and pedagogies that support community-led forms of action and to co-create new water imaginaries.

Speakers are: Professor Dr. Carola Hein (Delft University of Technology) and Architect John Hanna (Delft University of Technology); researchers Ain Contractor (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education) and Anjali (Yugma Collective); as well as artist Aziz Motawa (Akkaz Collective).

Water for peace & security: Risks & resilience connect conference

Sun, December 10, 10am-11.30pm | Connect Conference Multipurpose Hall

Water scarcity is becoming an alarming global issue. This concern is echoed in the UNCCD Global Land Outlook (2017), which predicts that by 2025, two-thirds of the global population will find themselves in water-stressed countries. The increasing competition for these precious resources can lead to potential grievances, conflicts, and even outbreaks of violence. Notably, of the 153 countries sharing transboundary rivers, lakes, and aquifers, only 24 have fully operational arrangements in place for water cooperation.

This event will highlight water insecurity as a fundamental threat to human health, peace, and security, as well as showcase tangible solutions to increase resilience to water-related risks; and further platforming the UAE’s Global Call to Action on increased investment, technological innovation, and international cooperation for shared water security.

The event is organised by the COP28 Presidency, IFRC, Water Peace & Security Partnership, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, UNCCD, UNECE, and Macroscope Strategies.

The journey for the Netherlands, from EXPO2020 to COP28 and beyond exemplifies the nation’s shared dedication to addressing the interrelated challenges of water, energy, and food security. By harnessing innovation, technology, and collaborative initiatives, the Netherlands aims to create sustainable solutions that enhance resilience, promote economic prosperity, and safeguard the well-being of societies around the world

For more information, consult these platforms:



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Further information about COP28 activities by the Netherlands can be found here: