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COP 28 – “We United.” “We Acted.” “We Delivered.”The UAE Consensus: An enhanced pathway to accelerate climate action.

By Martina Mihovska

Climate change is a pressing global crisis that transcends national boundaries, requiring international cooperation and tangible efforts from everyone. This year, the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 November to 13 December 2023. The main ambitions of COP28 were to give the best hope on restoring the faith in multilateralism, underlining the importance of international cooperation for addressing global issues in the context of sustainable development, through positive action-oriented engagement and to unite around tangible climate actions, to deliver concrete solutions and outcomes.

This report summarizes the key outcomes and the further agreements of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This year’s edition saw the participation of 198 Parties coming together to deliver the UAE Consensus, the most ambitious set of negotiated outcomes, which follows a year of inclusive diplomatic engagements and two weeks of intense negotiations. 

Crucial actions were established to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to climate action, shaping a better world, as this has been the most inclusive COP to date, ensuring all voices could participate in the process.

The COP28 Presidency’s goal was to provide the most ambitious response possible to the Global Stocktake (GST) and deliver on the central aims of the Paris Agreement.

The UAE Consensus sets out an ambitious climate agenda to keep 1.5°C within reach and calls on Parties to transition away from fossil fuels to reach net zero. It also encourages them to submit economy-wide Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), including a new specific target to triple renewables and double energy efficiency globally by 2030, and focuses on a new architecture for climate finance.

Dr. Al Jaber, the President of COP28, has defined it as a “balanced plan” that tackles emissions, bridges the gap on adaptation, reimagines global finance, and delivers on loss and damage.  The fund will allocate resources, helping compensate vulnerable countries and Small Islands Developing States.

This process will deliver a plan that is led by science and will define a new way for the future COP’s, based on the principles of inclusion, to elevate the needs of the Global South.

Throughout 2023, the COP28 Presidency has taken bold and decisive steps to deliver beyond the negotiated text through its ‘Action Agenda’ which spans four pillars: 

  1. Fast-tracking a just and orderly energy transition.

  2. Fixing climate finance to make it more available, affordable, and accessible.

  3. Focusing on people, nature, lives, and livelihoods.

  4. Fostering full inclusivity in climate action.

The scale of achievements delivered under the Action Agenda has been unprecedented for any COP and is a testament to the willingness of representatives from a huge range of sectors and industries to take positive action. Under the total Action Agenda at COP28, over $85 billion in funding has been mobilized and 11 pledges and declarations have been launched and received historic support.

Within this context, the COP28 Presidency has been clear in its intention to ensure that the agreements made at COP28 are delivered and followed through to COP29 and COP30.

The host of COP29, Azerbaijan will be working with the host of COP30, Brazil to ensure Parties come to COP30 with ambitious updated climate plans for action in this critical decade and the whole of economy NDCs building on the momentum generated at COP28.

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