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COP 28: The UN Climate Change Conference 2023

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The United Nations are hosting the prestigious 2023 Climate Change Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates this year, grappling the escalating threat of climate change.

An image of the United Arab Emirates flags flying in front of a blue sky for the Climate Change Conference 2028.

What is the UN Climate Change Conference
(COP 28)?

As the world grapples with the escalating threat of climate change, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 28, emerges as a pivotal juncture for global collaboration.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, this conference, running from November 30 to December 12, 2023, brings together over 70,000 delegates, including representatives from member states, business leaders, youth activists, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, journalists, and various other experts.

The UN Climate Change conferences, known as COPs or the Conference of Parties, are the world’s premier forums for making decisions on climate change.

These annual gatherings encompass almost every country globally, providing a platform to collectively address the climate crisis.

The essence of COP 28 lies in fostering diplomatic agreements that tackle critical issues such as limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, assisting vulnerable communities in adapting to, and reducing the impact of climate change, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why Does COP 28 Matter?

In the wake of pivotal negotiations that shaped the Paris Climate Change Agreement held in 2015, COP 28 shifts its focus to implementation and amplifying ambitions.

The urgency stems from the latest scientific insights from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, indicating the need for a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 2019 levels.

This ambitious target is crucial to curbing temperature rise and averting severe climate impacts.

COP 28 represents a pivotal juncture in the global effort to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees celsius, guiding nations in revising and enhancing their climate plans by 2025.

The conference serves as an accelerator for ongoing green transitions worldwide, propelling the delivery of the Paris Agreement goals.

A photograph of the flags from multiple countries, flying in front of a United Nations conference.

Where is COP 28 being hosted?

COP 28 is being hosted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for the first time ever.

Dubai brings a unique blend of innovation and commitment to the climate cause.

The UAE’s role extends beyond providing facilities and logistical support; it includes engaging governments at various levels to ensure the success of COP 28.

At the helm of COP 28 is Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and United Arab Emirates Special Envoy for Climate Change.

His leadership underscores the commitment of the host nation to spearhead global efforts in addressing climate challenges.

What is COP 28’s Mandate?

COP 28’s mandate is to hold the responsibility of turning ambitious goals set at COP 21 into concrete, actionable plans going forward.

The 2028 conference unfolds in what experts term a ‘decisive decade’ for climate action.

The conference is tasked with converting the ambitious objectives outlined in the Paris Agreement into practical and executable strategies.

The global community must collaboratively navigate the complexities of climate change, from mitigating its impacts to fostering resilience in vulnerable communities.

As the world seeks to uphold the Paris Agreement’s vision, COP 28 becomes a crucial arena for countries to showcase their commitment, share best practices, and forge innovative solutions.

The outcomes of this conference will shape the trajectory of climate action for years to come.

A caucasion hand holding up a cardboard sign that says there is no planet B in painted letters. The person appears to be at a climate change protest.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) and COP 28 UAE Details

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international summit held annually, unless the Parties decide otherwise.

With 198 Parties (197 countries plus the European Union) to the Convention, COPs represent near-universal membership.

COP28 UAE is scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 12, 2023, at Expo City, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

These conferences, under the UNFCCC framework, serve as the highest decision-making body on climate issues and one of the largest international meetings globally.

COP28 UAE marks a transformative moment for the world to unite around tangible climate action and deliver realistic solutions.

Collaboration across civil society, governments, industries, and sectors is imperative to achieve these goals.

The event comprises two zones:

  1. The Blue Zone: Managed by UNFCCC, this site is open to accredited parties, observer delegates, media, and world leaders. It hosts formal negotiations and numerous official side events.
  2. The Green Zone: Managed by the COP28 UAE Presidency, it offers a platform for non-accredited delegates, including youth groups, civil society, the private sector, and indigenous groups.

    The Green Zone promotes dialogue and awareness about climate action, featuring technical conferences, panels, and activations focusing on existing and future solutions to climate change mitigation.

The COP28 UAE Presidency emphasises the importance of collaboration between governments and the private sector in addressing climate change.

The Green Zone provides an opportunity for the private sector to showcase contributions and solutions to the global climate challenge, highlighting innovative approaches, climate action technologies, and entrepreneurship.

Around each COP, numerous ‘fringe’ events are organised by individuals, businesses, and organisations.

These events, though not official, contribute to the broader discourse on climate change.

As COP 28 unfolds, the world watches with anticipation, recognising the collective responsibility to address climate change.

The decisions made within the walls of this conference room will reverberate far beyond, shaping the destiny of our planet for generations to come.

An image of a caucasian man putting a plastic bottle into a recycling bin labelled plastic. There are two other bins next to it labelled paper and glass.


What Does COP Stand For?

COP stands for “Conference of the Parties” which is the supreme decision-making body of the Convention.

All States that are party to the Convention are represented at the COP, where they review the implementation of the Convention and any other legal matters that the COP chooses to adopt.

They take this opportunity to make decisions regarding promoting the effective implementation of the Convention.

Why is COP 28 being hosted in Dubai?

COP 28 is being hosted in Dubai because the COP presidency is currently being held by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, and it is typical for the President to host in their own country.

Dubai is not the first fossil-fuel state or oil-rich country to be hosting a COP.

Qatar hosted COP18 in 2012, and has taken place three times in Poland also.

Who can participate in COP 28?

Member states, observers, business leaders, youth activists, climate scientists, Indigenous Peoples, and journalists can all participate in COP 28 for different purposes.

This inclusive framework ensures a collaborative effort in addressing climate change, fostering global engagement and actionable solutions.

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