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COP28: An opportunity to refocus the climate agenda

At COP28 the world will take stoke of the progress made on the Paris Agreement. (Image source: Pixabay/geralt)

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP28, officially starts today as world leaders, advisors, business executives, philanthropists, and everyone in between arrive to discuss and shape environmental policies which will mould our globe for years to come

The event, running from 30 November to 12 December, is being held this year at Dubai’s Expo City, UAE, with organisers aiming to set the tone with a carbon-neutral conference. This pursuit includes UAE offering 1.5°C-aligned menus throughout the event to serve the c.70,000 people who will be in attendance. 

This includes, according to UN climate change executive secretary, Simon Stiell, more than 170 world leaders. “But, COP28 cannot just be a photo-op,” remarked Stiell. “Leaders must deliver in Dubai – the message is clear. And as leaders leave Dubai after the opening summit, their message to their negotiators must be equally clear: don’t come home without a deal that will make a real difference.”

Such a sentiment is the intention of COP28 president, Sultan Al Jaber, who, in meeting with EU climate commissioner and chief COP28 negotiator, Wopke Hoekstra, earlier this month in Brussels, declared a conviction that this year’s conference much achieve the “highest possible ambition.” 

They stated that COP28 must accelerate practical action on mitigation, adaptation, loss, damage and climate finance, and build a fully inclusive conference that leaves no one behind. “COP28 is a critical opportunity to show unity and restore faith in multilateralism in a world that is polarised, through positive, action-orientated engagement and outcomes.”

As time continues to tick on global climate commitments, such as limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050, COP28 has been labelled as a prime opportunity to rethink, reboot and refocus the climate agenda. Certainly the eyes of the world will remain fixated on Dubai over the coming weeks to see if the participants and leaders of the world grasp this opportunity to ensure a safe, sustainable future for all.  

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