As COP28 concluded in Dubai, it is vital to reflect on the key themes and outcomes that have shaped this pivotal event for global climate action.

COP28 has outlined four key areas of focus on during the conference:

Accelerating the energy transition initiatives and reducing emissions prior 2030

  • The COP28 Presidency launched the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge, pledging to triple the world's installed renewable energy generation capacity to 11,000 GW by 2030 and double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements from 2% to over 4% until 2030, aiming for a clean energy transition that is orderly, just, and equitable.
  • The Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter, supported by 52 signatories, pledges to achieve net-zero operations by 2050, eliminate routine flaring by 2030, and significantly reduce upstream methane emissions. In parallel, the Industrial Transition Accelerator, backed by 35 companies, is set to drive decarbonization initiatives across high-emission sectors such as energy, industry, and transportation.
  • The Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy, aiming to triple global nuclear energy capacity by 2050 and encourage international financial institutions' inclusion in energy lending policies, has been endorsed by 22 national governments.
  • International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), launched the Utilities for Zero Alliance, committing to advance electrification, renewables-ready grids, and clean energy deployment, aligning with 2030 Breakthroughs, including methane reduction in the oil and gas sector.
  • The Green Maritime Africa Coalition (GMAC) promotes zero-emission fuels in Africa's maritime sector, aligning with the International Maritime Organization’s 2050 decarbonization plan. GMAC is collaborating with various maritime stakeholders to enhance Africa's involvement in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Transforming climate financing through the implementation of new financial framework and fulfilment of previous commitments

  • Significant mobilization of public and private finance is crucial for addressing indebtedness in developing countries and reforming international financial architecture acknowledged in COP 27. Throughout the COP 28 saw commitments to climate finance from national governments and organizations, including the Green Climate Fund, Adaptation Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund, and Special Climate Change Fund.
  • Declaration of a Global Climate Finance Framework, which aims to unlock climate finance investment opportunities through collective action and scale delivery, with immediate reporting.
  • COP28 issued a call for collaboration to accelerate private finance mobilization for adaptation and resilience, developed by stakeholders and parties, aiming to enhance the enabling environment.
  • The Global Capacity Building Coalition, backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies and involving organizations like the UN, World Bank, IMF, and Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), aims to enhance the availability and effectiveness of climate finance technical assistance programs for financial institutions in emerging markets and developing economies.

Putting people, livelihoods, nature, and lives at the centre of climate action

  • COP28 emphasized the urgent need to adapt and build resilience in the face of record-breaking temperatures and climate-induced disasters. The Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA), introduced at COP 27, targets the resilience of four billion people by 2030 through over 30 global adaptation outcomes. At COP28, The SAA introduces four new Adaptation Outcomes for health, including finance, surveillance systems, heat resilience, and health infrastructure, highlighting opportunities for food and agriculture plans and investments, and highlighting positive developments in nature-based solutions.
  • Additionally, the Presidency launched the UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action. This declaration focuses on scaling up adaptation and resilience in agriculture to reduce vulnerability among farmers and food producers while promoting food security and nutrition for vulnerable populations, showcasing COP 28's attention to health and resilient supply chains.
  • Initiative launched by the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) at COP 27, The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and World Meteorological Organization's Early Warning for All initiative report shows Africa has doubled early warning system coverage quality, yet still falls below the global average.

Organizing the most inclusive COP ever

  • Climate change affects vulnerable communities and underrepresented groups, requiring global representation. COP28 Presidency and UNFCCC Executive Secretary commit to making it the most inclusive UN Climate Change Conference.
  • The COP28 played a pivotal role in establishing the Gender-Responsive Just Transitions and Climate Action Partnership, emphasizing gender equity as a crucial aspect of inclusivity.
  • The COP28 the Youth Climate Champion and YOUNGO – official children and youth constituency of the UNFCCC – convened the Dubai Youth Dialogue, and YOUNGO, with the support of the Youth Climate Champion, launched the outcome of the Youth Stocktake.
  • The 5th Capacity-building Hub facilitated the integration of rights-based participatory approaches into climate action, mobilizing grassroots organizations, Indigenous Peoples, local communities, youth, children, gender advocates, and people with disabilities. Private finance was also explored as an enabler for inclusion, uniting private, public, and philanthropic institutions.
  • The Technology Executive Committee and Enterprise Neurosystem have launched the AI Innovation Grand Challenge to support the development of AI-powered climate action solutions in developing countries, particularly SIDS and LDCs.

COP28: Wrap-up

COP28 marked a historic shift away from fossil fuels, a crucial step toward sustainability. But there's a call for more ambitious action. COP28 saw unprecedented talk about moving away from fossil fuels, aiming for a shift that could redefine economies. But the absence of a clear mandate to completely phase out these fuels left many disappointed. The burning of coal, oil, and gas remains a major contributor to climate change, prompting calls for stronger action. While the summit didn't secure a commitment to fully phase out these fuels.

As the conference wraps up, it's vital to turn commitments into real changes to keep the 1.5°C target achievable. The momentum from Dubai sets a path for a resilient, inclusive, and climate-aware world. Yet, the real success depends on translating promises into action, urging the world to join forces for a greener future.

Reference: Summary of Global Climate Action at COP 28 - UNFCCC