Posted by GMI Blogger Posted in General

May 18 2023 at 4:23am

2023 will be a historic year for the UAE. The country is going to host the 28th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 28) to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) from November 30, 2023 to December 12, 2023. 

An interesting fact is that COP 28 will coincide with the UAE national day, which is December 2. The event will host more than 80,000 delegates, including 140 heads of state and government, who will be contemplating and taking decisions on important environmental issues.

Dubai Expo City will serve as the venue for COP28. There can be no better location to host COP 28 than Dubai Expo City, as both COP 28 and Expo 2020 Dubai have some goals in common: achieving sustainability and encouraging global cooperation to address global issues.

cop 28 logo

If everything falls in place, the UAE will be the second country in the Middle East to host a COP session after Egypt. The UNFCCC made this decision after UAE received unanimous support from the Asia-Pacific group at COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021.

Going by global reports, COP28 carries a lot of environmental expectations and is poised to take some major resolutions to combat climate change.

Meaning and Significance of COP

COP or the Conference of Parties is the apex decision making body of UNFCCC. UNFCCC was instituted to deal with the growing threat of climate change. It was signed in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development also known as Rio Summit or Earth Summit. The Secretariat of UNFCCC is located in Bonn, Germany. 

The Presidency and venue of COP rotate among the five recognized UN regions – Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Central, Eastern and Western Europe. The first COP meeting was held in Berlin, Germany in March 1995. COP is held every year unless the Parties decide otherwise.

Outcomes of COP 26

COP has had some significant outcomes since its first conference in Berlin. UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa outlined the sustainable outcomes of COP 26 during the ministerial dialogue at OLADE energy week. Here they are:

  • Adapting to the impacts of climate change. After COP 26, a work programme has come into existence to define how all the countries will adapt to this phenomenon. 

  • Creating more funds for developing countries to help them in the process of adaptation.

  • Although emission levels have come down, more efforts need to be taken by governments. For this, the deployment of renewables needs to be accelerated. 

  • Finalizing the guidelines for the complete implementation of the Paris Agreement*. The compromise reached on Article 6 talks about carbon markets that will ensure fair competition. Along with this, negotiations on the ETF or Enhanced Transparency Framework were also finalized to help countries build trust.

* Paris Agreement – It is an international treaty on climate change that legally binds all parties involved in its goal of limiting global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. It was adopted during COP 21 in Paris in 2015.

What is Cop 28?

COP28 is the 28th session of the Conference of Parties. COP is held every year to discuss and find solutions for climate change. COP28 will be held in the UAE at Dubai Expo City from November 30 to December 12, 2023. The thirteen-day long programme will begin on Thursday and conclude on Tuesday.

Agenda for COP 28

Here are a few actionable steps that we can witness during COP 28 in November 2023:

  • The transitional committee set up at COP 27 for the Loss and Damage Agreement* will be making recommendations on how to operationalize the fund at COP 28. Its first meeting will take place before the end of March. Unnikrishnan Divakaran Nair, head of Climate Change at the Commonwealth Secretariat said attention needs to be paid to the ways to collect and fill the fund and disburse it properly.

*The Loss and Damage Agreement created at COP 27 aims to help low-income countries that are facing the effects of climate change.

  • The $100 billion adaptation funding goal set in 2009 at COP 15 is yet to be fulfilled by the high-income countries. Although there was a daily loss of more than $200 million due to adverse climate, COP 27 negotiators failed to take a stand on adaptation finance. COP 28 will definitely witness the creation of a framework for the global goal of adaptation. This will help people whose work directly depends on a favorable climate like farmers.

  • The CAF report (commissioned by a group of 20 major economies) postulates that the World Bank should take on a more prominent role in issues like climate change. Before COP 27, the World Bank President said that it was working with its shareholders to come up with a variety of approaches to tackle climate change. Development experts are of the opinion that the United Nations should push the World Bank to take on a larger role in monitoring the commitment of different countries to cutting global greenhouse gases. According to Rabah Arzeki, former Chief Economist and Vice President at the African Development Bank and Philippe Le Houérou, Chairman of the Board of the Agence Française de Développement, it is easy for an institution like the World Bank to take on a more active role in climate change as the majority shareholders will contribute more towards climate stability.

  • Till now the JETPs (Just Energy Transition Partnership) has helped countries like South Africa (COP 26), Indonesia and Vietnam (last year) use blended finance to stop dependence on coal and transition to a more green energy mix.

  • General António Guterres, the U.N. Secretary General, launched a plan at COP 27 that allows all the residents of the Earth to be covered by a multi-hazard early warning system over the next 5 years. In 2023, three things will be prioritized – identifying any gaps and analyzing the capabilities of people to handle the early warning system, moving ahead with the implementation, ensure that the funding is scaled up. Guterres will report on the developments at COP 28.

  • The Global Stocktake (a 2-year process which happens every 5 years) began at COP 26 and will conclude at COP 28. At present, it is in its second phase – a time for technical assessment where the three themes (mitigation, adaptation, implementation and support) are being discussed through in-person dialogues. The findings will be presented and analyzed at COP 28.

  • The Global Goal on Adaptation established under the Paris Agreement got a framework at COP 27. This framework will be discussed before COP 28 and should get adopted at the convention in November.

  • A new food and agricultural security plan was created at COP 27. The only glitch was that the final agreement disregarded the food systems approach and overlooked important things like nutrition and dietary shifts, adaptation and mitigation work plans. The food and land use coalition program agenda includes pushing for a better outcome at the Global Stocktake and COP 28. In accordance with the goal of limiting temperature rising above 1.5 degree celsius, the Food and Agriculture Organization is ready to release a plan to reduce emissions from the food and agriculture system. The AIM(Agriculture Innovation Mission) for climate initiative will hold a summit in Washington. The initiative is led by the U.S. and the U.A.E. with U.N. as the founding member. It is aiming to increase the $8 billion funding for innovation in climate-smart agriculture to $10 billion by COP 28.

  • The importance of the ocean and oceanic life will be presented at COP 28. The host UAE in its Nat-Zero 2050 strategy has already made efforts to restore and enhance ecosystems like seagrasses, mangroves and salt marshes.

Environmental Relevance of the UAE as the Host of COP 28

The position of the UAE as the host for COP28 reflects the government’s efforts to transform the economy into one that is fueled by clean and renewable energy sources along with technological advancements and climate-smart solutions. The conference will primarily focus on the economic case for inclusive climate action. 

According to the UAE, it’s a privilege to get a chance to host COP28 and it certainly comes as a recognition of the country’s environment-friendly steps taken for over three decades. The UAE has been committed to battling climate change since 1989, the same year it ratified the Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone layer. After this, it became a member of the UNFCCC in 1995 and also ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2005.

Some of the ‘green’ initiatives practiced and propagated by the UAE include:

  • Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate or AIM – A proposal put forth by the UAE and the US at COP 26. The objective of this proposal was to create huge investments in climate-smart agriculture and food systems over the next 5 years. The agriculture sector employs around 5 billion people globally. The UAE has pledged an extra $1 billion for this project. 

  • The UAE is one of the countries with the least methane emissions and as a part of this, it has joined the Global Methane Pledge. The hydrocarbon industries in the UAE have the world’s lowest methane intensities of 0.01%. The country also aims at reducing methane emissions by 30% by the end of 2023.

  • The UAE government has also taken steps to maximize the sources of renewable energy. A $400 million investment has been made to help developing countries transition from old methods of energy generation to renewable sources.

  • The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in UAE has created a blueprint-Hydrogen Leadership Roadmap, that contains comprehensive steps to establish the country as a leading exporter of hydrogen by supporting low carbon industries. 

  • The UAE is also home to the first of its kind large scale carbon capture facility (CCUS). This facility aids in reducing the cost of solar energy. 

  • By the end of the decade, the UAE aims at planting 100 million mangrove trees as part of its second NDC (Nationally determined contribution). NDC was adopted from the Paris Agreement.

  • The government also spent $17 billion on helping 27 island nations facing the climate change threat. Many projects like solar, wind and battery storage were initiated here.

  • In April 2022, the Barakah Nuclear Plant started its operations. Once the four reactors of the plant are fully operational, the greenhouse gas emissions of UAE’s power sector will reduce considerably.

  • Net Zero 2050 is another strategic initiative that aims at making the UAE carbon-neutral by mid-century. The UAE was among the first countries in the Middle East and North Africa to announce this project.

Words from the UAE Government Representatives

Several representatives of the UAE government expressed their gratitude for the UNFCCC’s decision. 

Remembering the legacy of the founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation stated, that COP 28 should be a ‘solutions COP’ and it should create shareable solutions for all the difficult challenges the world is facing today.

Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change said that COP 28 should be a stage of inclusivity. Each representative, whether it is the public sector or private sector, developed nation or developing nation, academicians or civilians, should be able to express their opinions and concerns. He said that the UAE believes in the motto ‘partnership promotes progress’ and this motto should reflect in the upcoming COP 28.

Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said COP 28 will be the perfect platform to understand the ‘planetary and economic aftermath of climate change’ and constitute solutions for the same. She said the UAE’s ‘challenges are opportunities’ approach has helped the country to create a sustainable future for the coming generations. She said COP 28 will help them share their insights about this approach as well. She also expressed her desire to expand youth participation in the COP proceedings.  

COP 28 Key Highlights


Dubai Expo City, UAE

Opening date

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Closing date

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Number of delegates

80,000+ (as per the latest sources)



For more details

COP 28 Advisory Committee

 The COP28 UAE Advisory Committee is composed of 31 members who are experts in the field of climate change, representing various countries from six continents. These members come from diverse backgrounds, including policy, industry, energy, finance, civil society, youth, and humanitarian action. They will serve as advisors to the COP Presidency, offering guidance and advice leading up to COP28 and in the future.

The Advisory Committee embodies the values of diversity and inclusion that are central to COP28 UAE. With 65% of its members hailing from the Global South, it ensures a broad representation of perspectives. The committee’s primary goal is to foster collaboration and drive transformative action in key areas such as adaptation, mitigation, finance, loss and damage, food and agriculture, and nature-based solutions.

List of Committee Members:

1.H.E. Olafur GrimssonChairman of Arctic Circle (Former President of Iceland)
Iceland (EUR)
2.H.E. Hilda HeineFormer President, Republic of the Marshall Islands
Pacific Marshall Islands (OC)
3.H.E. Laurent FabiusPresident of COP21 / Paris Agreement, Former Prime Minister of France
France (EUR)
4.H.E. Dr. Muawieh RadaidehMinister of Environment
Jordan (ME)
5.Dr. Izabella TeixeiraFormer Minister of Environment
Brazil (LA)
6.H.E. Dr. Nawal Al-HosanyPermanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
United Arab Emirates (ME)
7.Sheikha Haya bint Rashid Al KhalifaAmbassador & Former President of UN General Assembly 2006/2007
Bahrain (ME)
8.Laila Mostafa AbdullatifDirector General of Emirates Nature–WWF
United Arab Emirates (ME)
9.Francesco La CameraDirector General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
Italy (EUR)
10.Damilola OgunbiyiCEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (UN SRSG) for Sustainable Energy for All, and Co-Chair of UN-Energy
Nigeria (AFR)
11.Jagan ChapagainCEO and Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Nepal (NPL)
12.Dubai AbulhoulFounder & CEO, Fiker Institute
United Arab Emirates (ME)
13.Mukesh AmbaniChairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd.
India (AS)
14.Fu ChengyuFormer Chairman of China Petrochemical Corporation
China (AS)
15.Makhtar DiopManaging Director, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Senegal (AFR)
16.Bob DudleyChair of the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), former CEO of BP
United States (NA)
17.Larry FinkChairman and CEO of BlackRock
United States (NA)
18.Kate HamptonChief Executive Officer, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
19.Prof. Saleemul HuqDirector, International Centre for Climate Change and Development
Bangladesh (AS)
20.Hindou IbrahimAssociation for Indigenous Women And Peoples Of Chad (AFPAT) Coordinator
Chad (AFR)
21.Badr JafarChief Executive Officer, Crescent Enterprises
United Arab Emirates (ME)
22.Joe KaeserSupervisory Board Chairman at Siemens Energy and Daimler Truck
Germany (EUR)
23.Dr Agnes KalibataPresident, AGRA and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the 2021 Food Systems Summit
Rwanda (AFR)
24.Prof. Carlos LopesChair of the African Climate Foundation Board
Guinea Bissau (AFR)
25.Dr Ernest MonizPresident and CEO, Energy Futures Initiative (Former US Secretary of Energy)
United States (NA)
26.Sunita NarainDirector General, Centre for Science and Environment
India (AS)
27.Manuel Pulgar-VidalGlobal Leader, Climate and Energy, WWF (COP20 President)
Peru (LA)
28.Sir John RoseDeputy Chairman, Rothschild Group (Former CEO, Rolls-Royce)
29.Dr Daniela RusComputer Scientist, Roboticist (Director, MIT Computer Science and AI Lab)
United States (NA)
30.Jeffrey UbbenFounder and Managing Partner, Inclusive Capital Partners
United States (NA)
31.H.E. Hunaina Al MughairyFormer Ambassador to the United States, Sultanate of Oman
Sultanate of Oman (ME)

The COP 28 Zones

There are two zones at the COP 28 summit in the UAE

1. Blue Zone

A UNFCCC managed site which will host all parties including heads of state, ministers and negotiators along with accredited observer organisations(NGOs, IGNOs, and UN agencies), media and other leaders.

2. Green Zone

A site that will host the general public,  youth organisations, civil society, indigenous groups, and the private sector. The area will serve as a mixture of entertainment, culture and business. Businesses have been provided with a chance to display their ideas in 3 exhibition areas-the Decarbonization Hub, the Technology and Innovation Hub, and the Knowledge Hub. The purpose of this zone is to encourage conversation, awareness, and commitment to climate action.

COP28 Event Registration

The application portal to secure pavilions for COP 28 opened for expressions of interest on May 10, 2023, and will close on June 15, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. (GMT+4).

According to the announcement from the UNFCCC, delegations interested in securing a pavilion during COP 28 can visit to find more information and submit applications. 

Observer organisations, including NGOs and IGOs, should register their representatives for every conference through an ORS (Online Registration System). You can find details regarding the admission process for NGOs and IGOs at the official UNFCCC website. Once they are registered, they can attend any session or meeting of the UNFCCC.

The International Youth Climate Delegate Programme (International YCDP)

To ensure the inclusion and integration of youth views and proposals, the International Youth Climate Delegate Programme (International YCDP) will add 100 youths to the international climate policy negotiation process. With priority given to small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCS), the programme is open to youth everywhere. The participants should be between the ages of 18 and 35.

A selection committee, headed by YOUNGO-the Official Children and Youth Constituency of the UNFCCC, was tasked with shortlisting the candidates. The selected candidates will get the opportunity to:

  • Learn more about climate diplomacy.

  • Participate in the 18th Conference of Youth (UAE).

  • Participate in COP28 at Expo City Dubai (UAE).

  • Gain more insight and engage in fundamental climate action activities.

  • Interact with other youths to understand the shared goals for climate action.

COP28 UAE – Latest Updates

  • ‘One World’, the official logo and branding for COP28 UAE has been released. The logo is in the shape of a sphere in shades of green. It includes a variety of images, from nature to wildlife and renewable energy technologies.

  • Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has been chosen to serve as the President-Designate for COP28 UAE. He is also the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change.

  • Shamma Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs has been chosen as the UAE Youth Climate Champion for COP28.

  • Razan Al Mubarak, President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has been selected as COP28 UAE UN Climate Change High-Level Champion.

  • Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, has been selected as a member of the Advisory Committee to the President of the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He is the second Indian on the committee along with Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is COP?

COP means Conference of Parties. It is the UNFCCC’s highest decision-making body and a gathering of 197 countries (and counting) that holds annual meetings in the context of climate change and proposes climate-related goals and solutions each year.

What is UNFCCC?

UNFCCC is the abbreviation for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is an official body formed in the year 1992 to lend support to the global response to the dangers posed by climate change. Currently, 197 states parties are present in this body.

What is the objective of UNFCCC?

In simple terms, the objective of UNFCCC is to allow the ecosystem to achieve sustainable development.  It aims to stabilize greenhouse gases within a timeframe.

Who is the head of the secretariat?

The Executive Secretary heads the secretariat of UNFCCC. At present, the position is held by Patricia Espinosa. She hails from Mexico and has more than 30 years of experience in international relations with a special focus on climate change, sustainable development etc.


Why is COP 28 important?

COP28 is particularly significant because it marks the end of the first Global Stocktake, which began at COP26 in Glasgow. Stocktake is a biennial process that occurs every five years. It assesses the collective progress made under the Paris Agreement and identifies areas for additional action and support.

When and where will COP28 take place?

COP28 will take place in the UAE between November 30 and December 12, 2023. Dubai Expo City will be the venue for this 13-day long global event.

Who is the President of COP?

The Presidency position is held by the Minister of Environment from the host government. During COP 28, HE Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri will be occupying the presidency position.

Which country has hosted the COP of all three Rio conventions?

India is one of the few countries to have hosted the COP of all three Rio conventions including the Rio convention on climate change, land (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) and biodiversity (Convention on Biological Diversity).

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