The 28th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) came to an end on 13th December 2023.  The last two days saw tough negotiations that spanned into the wee hours and COP28 extension by one day.  The 198 parties to the UN climate talks in Dubai decided to transition the world away from fossil fuels, launched the Loss and Damage Fund, adopted the Global Stocktake, and established a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation. 

During the closing session the COP President, Dr Sultan Al Jaber said that, “I promised a different type of COP, a COP that brought everyone together, public sector, private sector, youth, indigenous people, and everyone to present their voice. Over the last two weeks, we have worked very hard, to secure a better future for our people and the planet. Throughout the COP28 process, the Presidency and team has expressed determination to deliver a plan that is led by science and to define a new way for future COP’s based on inclusion of diverse people and elevating the needs of the global south. By following our true north, we have found a new path and set the world in the right direction that keeps the 1.50c reality.”

Mr. Simon Stiell, the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, in his closing remarks, noted that “clearly it is the beginning of the end of fossil fuel era. We have laid ground for a swift, just and equitable transition, underpinned by deep emissions cuts and scaled-up climate finance. The crucial years ahead, must keep ramping up ambition and climate action. That’s why we will be getting on with the job of putting the Paris Agreement into full effect. We are rolling up our sleeves, we have a great deal of work still to be done.”

COP 28 took place in Dubai, Expo City, between 30th November – 13th December 2023, and had over 80,000 delegates from across the world.  Below are the key highlights of outcomes and resolutions for COP 28:

  • The UNFCCC Opening Plenary of COP28/CMP18/CMA5 and SBSTA59/SBI59 on Thursday, 30 November, was marked by the unexpected adoption of the decision to operationalize new funding arrangements for responding to loss and damage and over $85 million was mobilized and secured $792 million pledges.
  • Countries agreed on targets for the Global Goal on Adaptation and its framework. This will help the world identify how it gets to a climate-resilient future and how to assess countries’ efforts. 
  • Global Stock Take was adopted which puts forward a plan to close the gaps to 2030. Countries are called upon to act to transition away from fossil fuel to reach net zero by 2050 and encourage economy-wide nationally determined contribution/national climate plans in the next review of country climate plans.
  • The UAE consensus also includes a new specific target to triple renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency by 2030.
  • It also provided a framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation and recognized the need to scale up adaptation finance beyond the doubling to meet the urgent and evolving agenda.
  • COP 28 built momentum towards a new architecture for climate finance that recognizes the role of credit rating agencies and calls for scale-up of concessional and grant finance.
  • Launch of ALTRERRA, the UAE $30 billion catalytic private finance vehicle which seeks to mobilize a total of $250 for global climate action.
  • The COP 28 UAE declaration on Agriculture Food and Climate, embedding sustainable agriculture and food systems in the response to climate change which received endorsement from 158 countries.
  • The COP 28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health, to accelerate the development of climate resilience, sustainable and equitable health systems endorsed by 144 countries.
  • The Global Decarbonization Accelerator (GDA) – a landmark energy initiative across the public and private sectors to speed up energy transition.
  • COP 28 sought to be inclusive by ensuring all voices could participate in the process, it provided for dedicated days for most left-out groups including the private sector as well as institutionalized the role of Youth champion to mainstream youth inclusion in future COPs.

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