COP 28:

What does it stand for?

What is ‘COP28’?
The Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

This year’s conference is happening in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and is the twenty-eighth conference of its kind.

Each year the conference brings together world leaders, diplomats, the private sector, environmental activists, and more to discuss, debate and negotiate the most prevalent climate concerns globally. 

When is COP28? 

30th November – 12th December 2024

What is ‘Catch-Up on COP’?

In recent years, each COP has repeated the same warnings about the future of our planet. From insufficient progress towards the 2015 Paris Agreement targets and the jeopardy of ‘limiting global warming to 1.5℃’, to the on-going debate between “phasing-out” and “phasing-down” fossil fuels.

We have developed this feed to dissect the key takeaways from each day. We will track the major developments, commitments, and action that come as result of the conference.

Will this COP be different? We are committed to finding out.


There is a danger that the messages emanating from COP 28 will sound like ‘a broken record’, the title of the 2023 UNEP Emissions Gap Report (EGR) which we at Strategic Agenda recently designed, edited, and translated.

The report reveals that while efforts have been made to cut emissions, the world is currently on track for 3℃ warming by the end of this century. Greenhouse gas emissions must fall by 42 per cent for a hope of hitting the 1.5℃ target. We also lag critically behind in our efforts to adapt to global warming, with the finance needs of developing countries for adaptation exceeding current flows by up to 18 times.

This year, allegations – denied by the COP 28 President Sultan Al Jaber – have been raised that the UAE has tried to use its host country status to make behind-the-scenes oil and gas deals. This year’s COP has the highest ever participation of representatives from the fossil fuel industry; Al Jaber himself is CEO of the UAE’s national oil company. Depending on perspective, this could either have the potential to block essential progress on cutting emissions, or ensure that the people who most need to hear the message on fossil fuel phase-out are in the room.

A fortnight ahead of the opening of COP 28, prospects for a positive outcome were boosted by the joint statement of the United States of America and China on the climate crisis. In the past, meaningful action on the climate was too often sunk on the rocks of the enmity between these global powers, together responsible for 40 per cent of global emissions. The US-China statement addresses the countries’ planned energy transition, reduction of methane emissions, and other environmental issues such as reversing deforestation and air pollutants. Critics have noted that the statement is light on concrete targets; however, it is undoubtedly a welcome declaration of intent.

COP28 So Far

On its opening day, Thursday 30 November, COP 28 got off to a good start, with governments pledging about $429 million to the Loss and Damage Fund – one of AGR’s key recommendations. This is a crucial mechanism, planned at COP 27, to ensure that the world’s poorest countries have some insurance against the disastrous impacts global warming is already bringing, such as flooding and drought. Much more investment is needed, in addition to guarantees that this support will reach the most-affected populations, but there are positive signs that the world is waking up to this reality.

Since then, we have seen positive outcomes from the Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum, making its debut at COP 28, mobilising $5 billion from the private sector for achieving climate goals. In another first, the COP’s premiere Health Day highlighted the impacts of climate change on human health.

t to expect from the rest of COP28?

The targets of 1.5℃ global warming – and missing that, 2℃ – and pathways for limiting climate change to these levels, are already widely accepted. All further discussion will hinge on how countries will contribute to achieving these, and, crucially, the funding they will put towards this end. Countries must set more ambitious nationally determined contributions – and stick to them. Seasoned COP watchers have also noted that previous negotiations have tended to sacrifice the importance of nature on the altar of climate milestones; with nature increasingly recognised as one of our best assets for tackling our carbon footprint, we also look forward to a more holistic approach to the environment.

From previous years, we know that the final days of a COP, when world leaders have long since departed leaving behind their hardened negotiators, are the “business end” of the climate summit, when the most important agreements can be struck. Many of us will be anxiously watching how proceedings develop towards 12 December, when COP 28 will draw to a close. Our future, and that of all the ecosystems and organisms with which we share our planet, will be in the hands of those in the conference rooms in Dubai. Hopefully, the positive early indications and spirit of cooperation between the COP’s major players will translate into meaningful results.

How to keep on top of COP?

Over the next week, our research and content team will be tracking all the latest commitments, developments, and action from Dubai. 

We will be dissecting and analysing the major moments of the conference to provide unique insights from a development sector and communications perspective. Our aim is to add value to your understanding of the conference rather than simply play-by-play commentary.

Follow our coverage on X/TwitterLinkedin, and Instagram and keep up-to-date on all things COP28.



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